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GamesCom 2013 interview – Josh Mosqueira talks about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Return of Pandemonium Fortress & Necromancers

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Blizzard Entertainment scheduled Blizzplanet, Millenium.org, InDiablo and GamersOrigin to sit together with Josh Mosqueira to interview him about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.

  • The Crusader was originally going to be a Darker Paladin, but later the class took a life of its own into something different.
  • Bloodmarch is an area outside Westmarch where the Black Soulstone was meant to be buried.
  • The Pandemonium Fortress — where the Worldstone had rested for milennia — will be revisited in this expansion.
  • The Necromancers are not too happy with Malthael the Archangel of Wisdom Death upsetting the balance by raising the dead.
  • No new Follower/Companion, but they have extra lore background, new features, and side-quests.
  • The developers see how well the Hellfire Ring (obtained through the Infernal machine event) has been received by the players, and they are currently experimenting with account-bound items to extend that experience.

BlizzCon New Class Speculation

The developers didn’t want to spoil too much about the Necromancers topic (asked by Handclaw); but it is obvious there is more than meet the eye. One of the developers mentioned the Necromancers are all about balance, and what Malthael is doing at Westmarch definitely affects the balance.

In an MTV interview with Jay Wilson a few years ago (August 5, 2008), he mentioned the Necromancer:

Wilson: I wouldn’t be opposed to looking at old classes. We are trying to design [the Witch Doctor] class so that if we did bring back the Necromancer, there’s room for him. We’re looking out ahead of time at what our expansions are going to be, so we’ve got to keep room open for some of those other classes down the road.”

 

It might be possible to see Necromancer NPC or a Necromancer class. The Crusader might or not be the only class for this expansion. They just want to keep some big surprises for BlizzCon. Another possibility is that the ripples of damage upon the balance wrought by Malthael might be like a kick on the wasp’s nest for the Necromancer. Maybe the second expansion will place the Necromancers in a bigger role than before considering the Diablo: The Sin War and Diablo: Kingdom of Shadow Lore.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we could see Zayl the Necromancer and Kara Nightshadow (Diablo: Legacy of Blood) — both from Richard A. Knaak’s novels. Note: Legacy of Blood and Kingdom of Shadow are reprinted in the Diablo Archive (752 pages).

UPDATE: A fan linked to this article, and got a blue response:

Vaeflare: If you’re keen to see what the Necromancer has been up to since the events of Diablo III, you’ll be pleased to know that you’ll have the opportunity to meet up with him once more in Reaper of Souls!

Also as Josh Mosqueira stated the interview with King Konger and elsewhere, we do not currently have any plans to add another class to the expansion. We feel the Crusader class is a truly epic, and fitting addition to Reaper of Souls, and we’re excited to share more about it with you in the months ahead. :)source

 

Grimiku: Vaeflare confirmed it earlier, but there is no harm in saying again. You’ll get a chance to meet a familiar necromancer npc, but the only additional playable class in Reaper of Souls is the Crusader. We’ll have more information to share about the Crusader in the coming months, but this armored, battle-worn, veteran will be a mighty addition to hero roster of Diablo III. — source

 

GamesCom 2013 Interview

In this GamesCom 2013 interview, the developers also talk about Nephalem Runs and Loot 2.0. Bare with us — GamesCom is the biggest gaming convention in the world. The recording is noisy. You might need to adjust the sound volume.

Why the Crusader, and where did the inspiration for the Crusader come from?

For a few reasons. We had an idea of having a sort of very heavy armored character, so we explored that for a while and we thought of the angle of make it a sort of a dark paladin sort of class and that idea took a life of its own and we went very far with it, and it became something really different at this point. So, way we describe it is a warmachine-made man, what if a modern armored division tank was an evil warrior? So we came up with this idea of a mid-ranged melee character, he wears heavy armor, he crushes his enemies, he has a big heavy flail and he has a shield which is as much a weapon as it is a defense mechanism. In addition he has a lot of holy wrath based damage, that he does, so he has some ranged abilities, too. So it‘s a neat mix of ranged and melee and he has become very different from the paladin at this point. He has become the Crusader.

 

We already know that you are going to patch Loot 2.0 before the expansion gets released. Are you considering to add any other features like the Paragon 2.0, and such before the expansion is ready?

Yea, we are considering all of the features, and tinker out which is more appropriate. Anything that is broadly systemic like that tends to be added in the game anyway. There is no reason for us not to give it up free. Probably a lot of more stuff will be free before the expansion goes live.

 

Will there be any new companions or any new content for the Templar or the Scoundrel?

There is a lot of new content for the old companions. We didn’t add a new companion. We have this idea that more is not better. Better is better. It’s how we say it. We figured we did not do enough to make the existing companions deep — we had a lot of grand plans for them in the first game; We are giving them a lot of more stories, they are actually getting side-quests — in Act V as well. So they are getting richer back stories. You get to meet, for example, the Scoundrel’s brother.

That’s new. No one knows about that yet. That’s our official leak for today’s interview.

 

Can you explain Nephalem Trials?

The idea for the Nephalem Trials takes a lot of inspiration from the Jar of Souls event from Act I. We wondered how to create this kind of micro-challenges to help us survey the pace of gameplay, the idea is that when you explore the world you come across a Nephalem portal, you jump into one of these Nephalem Trials. There are many different variations — one of the classic ones — you end up fighting waves and waves of enemies and you have a time limit. Depending how well, how many monsters you kill within the time limit you will be rewarded with a number of resplendant chests. So it’s a cool way to add a challenge to the game and add some variety.

Storywise, players met some of the Nephalem spirits that have been left behind in the world of Sanctuary, in the first game. At certain point, all humans were Nephalem. All humans had powers. The first generations of humans ever born had that. Eventually, they lost their powers, and as they were losing it, the leaders left behind guardian spirits for if in the future the Nephalem arose again, they could get guidance. These are the spirits that help you run these trials.

 

The new expansion adds a new Act with a new story, How much gameplay time takes to play through the whole story?

We haven’t finished the Act yet. We are not done making it yet. So it’s hard to say exactly how long it is, but I think more than ever, the game doesn’t end when you kill Malthael and defeat him. The replayability has been quitely expanded. Loot Runs is the first time we are talking about here at GamesCom.

Loot Runs is just one of the systems by the way, and the way that it works is extensively random dungeons. We take every single tile that is in the game, including all the new exterior ones are now randomized in Act V. We combined those in about 15-minute long dungeons at multiple levels with a variety of monsters.

With this monsters you need to work together, you need to change your tactics, very dense populated. Random boss fights and random loot. We take the promise of Diablo’s randomness, make that within a 15-minute chunks to add more end-game gameplay.

 

Almost all items we saw in this expansions are account-bound. Is this because of enchanting or is there another reason for that?

That’s something that we are experimenting with. The Hellfire Ring is something we believe responded really well. So we are seeing how to extend that system. We hope to hear some feedback from players here at GamesCom.

You get better items, but it’s your better items.

 

What variation of environments are we going to see in the expansion — we have seen some like Westmarch, Bloodmarch — what can we expect?

We were just sorta teasing some of the zones, but we can’t mention them. So I’ll cover the Bloodmarch.

The Bloodmarsh is an area outside of the city of Westmarch. It’s a very cool area, it’s one of our more fun and dangerous looking zones we have in the game.

Actually you see some of it in the opening cinematic, where the Black Soulstone is buried. Where Archangel Malthael comes and steal it from Tyrael. It’s underneath the Bloodmarch, and it does exist in the game right now.

The other area you will be exploring is the Pandemonion Fortress. It’s sort of the heart of creation, and that’s going to be a really great counterpoint to the more gothic feeling of Westmarch. The players will really love the journey from Westmarch to the Bloodmarch to the Pandemonium.

It’s a place where the angels and demons have fought over forever.

 

A lot of people are missing the darker side of Diablo II in Diablo III. Is the expansion going to be darker?

Dark side. I mean, Diablo III opens with a zombie apocalypse. It’s the end of the world, and meteors falling, and the armies of Hell are coming. Explain dark side.

For many years now we have really wanted to do a city tileset. A random city. So it all works with the same Diablo randomness, but still feels like a real city.

We actually tried to do that for a while, in Diablo III’s development, but we put it aside. As soon as we began work on the expansion, that was the first thing we tackled. So apart from the fact that it was a city, we didn’t know whether we wanted to do Westmarch years ago; and Death as the villain, has sort of made it definitely very grim and dark. That was heavy and gothic anyway before Death arrived and invaded it.

It’s a marshal city. It’s founded by the Paladin order when they were on their first grand crusade bringing their Zakarum faith to the west with fire and a sword.

It was founded by Rakkis. The soldiers of Bastion’s Keep are actually from the city of Westmarch. So we knew that we wanted to do Westmarch for a while, and not in response to anything in particular from Diablo III.

It’s not a reaction, but more than anything else an opportunity for us. When we started thinking about the expansion, they wanted Westmarch, another wanted the Crusader. When the team came across the idea of really focusing on Malthael the Angel of Death kinda rocked everything together and really allowed us to deliver — not just a gothic setting — but sub-apocalyptic and anti-apocalyptic that’s happening. It helps put everything together. The complete package.

The whole expansion is not the same color scheme. It’s not the same heavy gothic feel either. We just mentioned two of the other zones, and variety is a very important part of the game. It’s about replayability.

For us gothic doesn’t necessarily mean just round, black and gray. Gothic is more about the feel.

 

Are you going to make improvements to the Battle.net?

We are working on a lot of improvements. We didn’t announced any one yet. We are still working on them, and want to know a little more about — be sure — before we can talk about them, but there is a number of improvements to Battle.net and social services coming.

 

Given the theme of the new expansion, with Malthael being the Angel of Death, will we meet any Necromancer? … because it sounds like it would fit quite a little.

I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but … (at unison) MAYBE! **MAYBE!!!***

Obviously, bad things are happening. There’s a lot of death, and I think the necromancers are drawn to death.

Necromancers are about balance. If the army of death are taking over the world, that’s not balance anymore; and they need to do something about it.

 

Regarding the cinematic, Tyrael is hiding the Black Soulstone with the Horadrim. Are we going to know more about the Horadrim?

Yea, before the expansion ships, you are going to know more about the Horadrim. Tyrael has refound the Horadrim order. So they are a new Horadrim. The character that you meet at the beginning of the demo, he is a new Horadrim character that we spent a lot of time getting to know as well. So the Horadrim has been reborn. Cain passed that mantle down to Leah, and then we all know what happened with her. So, that didn’t work. Right? — the Kevin Marten yells: “SPOILERS!!!”

Josh Mosqueira says: “I didn’t specifically say what happened to Leah.”

Kevin Martens responds: “Oh shit!”

Josh Mosqueira finishes: “She’s not taking over the Horadrim. Let’s just say that.”

 

Note: That was a bit confusing. Are they considering Leah’s fate at the end of Diablo III a spoiler, or are they fooling around because Leah is coming back from the … death. Coughs … Malthael is rising the dead. Or because the Necromancers bring her back? Hard to decipher their code-talk.

Special thanks to Arthur Lorenz aka Handclaw (Blizzplanet contributor) who interviewed the Diablo III team at GamesCom, and thanks to the Blizzard US/EU PR teams.

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GamesCom 2013 – Blizzard Press Event Video

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Blizzplanet staff member Arthur “Handclaw” Lorenz attended GamesCom 2013 to witness the Blizzard Entertainment press panel held on Wednesday, August 21 at 11:30am CEST.

Arthur saw history unfold as Blizzard Entertainment unveiled the new expansion titled Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. The videos below contain the whole press panel. Check out the new Crusader class, Westmarch vistas and great features to be introduced in the expansion: level cap increased to 70, Unlimited Paragon Levels, Nephalem Trials, the Mystic, end-game Loot Runs, Improved Loot 2.0, a new Act, and much more.

Visit the official Diablo III: Reaper of Souls website.

Video # 1

Video # 2

Video # 3

Nephalem Trials

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Press Release – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Unveiled

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Blizzard Entertainment deployed a press release to go in detail about the new expansion titled Diablo III: Reaper of Souls which introduces a new class: The Crusader, and a whole new Act featuring the new villain: Malthael, the Archangel of Wisdom Death.

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Upcoming expansion to the fastest-selling PC game of all time playable at gamescom

“Death, at last, shall spread its wings over all . . .”

COLOGNE, Germany—August 21, 2013 – 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 is yet to be revealed. Announced today at gamescom, Diablo® III: Reaper of Souls™, the upcoming expansion to 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 after the events depicted at the end of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction®. In Reaper of Souls, he returns as the Angel of Death and seizes the Black Soulstone, which contains the essence of the Prime Evil. It now falls to the players to track down Malthael and stop him before he unleashes irreversible havoc on the world.

Fortunately, a new hero is ready to join the cause and bring Malthael to justice—the Crusader. Driven by a centuries-long quest to cleanse the corruption blighting their beloved Zakarum faith, Crusaders are warriors of righteousness who have been hardened through relentless, brutal combat with the foul evils plaguing eastern Sanctuary. In addition to wearing immensely heavy armor and wielding a wide range of cruel and punishing weapons, this new playable class in Reaper of Souls uses battle magic to strengthen allies and weaken foes. A natural walking tank, the Crusader adds power and versatility to any party of adventurers.

“From the beginning, Diablo has always been about the struggle between good and evil, and Reaper of Souls explores the darker notes of that conflict,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This expansion also represents a big milestone in the ongoing evolution of Diablo III, with key enhancements to the core gameplay, along with a new act to experience, a powerful new character class, tons of new loot, and even more end-game options. We think players will love playing Reaper of Souls, and we can’t wait to get it into their hands.”

In addition to taking the story of Diablo III from the legendary city of Westmarch to the unhallowed halls of the Pandemonium Fortress in Act V and introducing the incorruptible Crusader class, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls increases the game’s level cap to 70. Players continuing on with their existing Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter, Wizard, and Monk characters will benefit from an array of fearsome new spells and abilities as they advance in level.

The expansion also accentuates the key features of the Diablo franchise, with a greater emphasis on randomized environments to explore; epic new quests; horrific new monsters to defeat; and substantial updates to the loot experience, enabling players to further customize their characters with new and improved multilevel Legendary items, new Blacksmith and Jeweler item-crafting options, and more.

Diablo III’s Paragon progression system is also being majorly upgraded for the expansion, adding even *more end-game character advancement and replayability. Two new game modes—Loot Runs and Nephalem Trials—are being added as well, providing fun and rewarding challenges for players to tackle when they’re not busy saving the world.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is playable on the show floor at gamescom, and Blizzard will be revealing further details about the expansion at BlizzCon and beyond as development progresses. For further information related to today’s announcement and all the latest news about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, visit http://www.diablo3.com/reaperofsouls.

With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available—visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply.

 

GamesCom 2013: Blizzard Press Event – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Revealed

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Blizzard Entertainment revealed the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion trailer at GamesCom during a press event held at 11:30am CEST.

The Crusader is a new mid-range melee class wielding a longsword and a shield. The class is based on the Diablo II Paladin. The demonstration shows a Death Maiden in the Cathedral of the Zakarum.

The Angel of Wisdom Malthael plays a big role in the story as a villain. He will command dead angels as the Archangel of Death to punish Sanctuary and the remaining demons of the Burning Hells.

Archangel Malthael sees humanity as the largest group of demons, and wants to eradicate them. Tyrael and the new Horadrim wanted to hide the Black Soulstone deep beneath Sanctuary; but Archangel Malthael stole the Black Soulstone. (as seen in the cinematic below)

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The level cap has increased to level 70 and the expansion will introduce a new ACT.

The expansion will also focus on upgrades to the Paragon levels. New monsters include the Summoner of the Death, The Seraph and the Death Maiden. — fallen angels.

A new artisan will offer transmo services to change the appearance of your armor for that of another armor like in World of Warcraft.

Paragon levels will now be account-wide rather than individual characters. There is no cap to Paragon levels (Unlimited Paragon Levels). A return of an attribute system which uses Paragon points.

The Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is now playable at GamesCom where attendees can play as the Crusader class.

The new environment setting is gothic-medieval in nature in the lands of Westmarch.

Handclaw is at the press event taking video of the press event for Blizzplanet. The video will be available at a later time. Stay tuned. Additionally, Blizzard Entertainment scheduled an interview slot for Blizzplanet on Friday, August 23 with the Diablo III (PS3) team.

Further details of the Diablo III expansion will be revealed at BlizzCon this upcoming November 8-9th.

Malthael, the Angel of Death, has seized the Black Soulstone. It falls to the heroes of Sanctuary to stop him before he unleashes its dark power on the world. Today at gamescom, Blizzard Entertainment announced Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, the upcoming expansion to the fastest-selling PC game of all time. See the press release to learn more about this dark new chapter in the ongoing struggle between angels and demons over the fate of mankind.

 

The news is spreading so quick the hashtag Reaper of Souls have started trending on Twitter along with the hashtag Diablo 3.

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Videos

SDCC 2013 Interview – Micky Neilson on Diablo III: Book of Tyrael and World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn

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Blizzplanet correspondent David Frazier interviewed Micky Neilson at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con on Friday, July 19th to forward a combination of SOL community and Blizzplanet questions about licensed products revealed at the Blizzard Licensing Panel, and about products that weren’t mentioned at the panel.

Among the topics Micky Neilson discusses are the Diablo III: Book of Tyrael, World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn, Blood of the Highborne, World of Warcraft: Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde, the upcoming World of Warcraft-themed children’s book — Snow Fight, the DC Comics StarCraft OGN, and women characters in upcoming novels.

Special thanks to the New York Times Best Selling Author Micky Neilson (Blizzard Publishing Lead), “oasis in the desert” @TheLyns | Lyndsi Achucarro (Public Relations Specialist, Blizzard Entertainment) and Blizzplanet SDCC correspondent David Frazier.


World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn Diablo III: Book of Tyrael

World of Warcraft: Snow Fight

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Blizzplanet Coverage: San Diego Comic Con 2013

SDCC 2013 – Blizzard Licensing Panel Video | Blizzplanet

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Blizzplanet correspondent David Frazier recorded video of the Blizzard Licensing Panel led by Kat Hunter (host), Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson, Nick Carpenter, Cory Stockton. — Thursday, July 18th 2013

Don’t forget to watch the Micky Neilson interview. — Friday, July 19th 2013

Blizzplanet contributor Danny Perschonok interviewed Michael Stackpole to find out more about World of Warcraft: Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde.

SDCC 2013 Blizzard Licensing Panel (Part 1)

SDCC 2013 Blizzard Licensing Panel (Part 2)

In this part of the panel, the developers discuss the Sideshow Jim Raynor 1:6 scale figure, Kerrigan Polystone Statue, NECA Diablo action figure, DC Comics World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria graphic novel by Micky Neilson & Sean Galloway, World of Warcraft: Dark Riders by Mike Costa & Neil Googe, the FUNKO World of Warcraft Illidan Shadowform Pop! Vinyl Figure , the SDCC 2013 Exclusive Sylvanas POP! Vinyl, the Diablo: Sword of Justice by Aaron Williams & Joseph Lacroix.

SDCC 2013 Blizzard Licensing Panel (Part 3)

In this part of the panel, Blizzard discusses World of Warcraft: Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde, Diablo III: Book of Tyrael, the World of Warcraft-themed children’s book titled Snow Fight, the DK Publishing World of Warcraft: Ultimate Visual Guide.

SDCC 2013 Blizzard Licensing Panel Q&A (Part 1)

SDCC 2013 Blizzard Licensing Panel Q&A (Part 2)

SDCC 2013 Blizzard Licensing Panel Q&A (Part 3)

Tychus Findlay joke.

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Blizzplanet Coverage: San Diego Comic Con 2013

PAX East – Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Press Kit

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Blizzard Entertainment Rob Pardo announced at PAX East a team of 15 developers was created exclusively to develop Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft planned to launch beta testing this Summer.

No one expected Blizzard to announce a free to play CCG game.

The game is slated for beta this summer and will be released later this year (2013). It will be released in PC and Mac first with an iPad release coming shortly after. No current plans it seems on Android or other mobile OS.

Official website revealed as well the beta signup page: http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/

As someone like myself who has played Magic: The Gathering since 1998, I can tell you that this game looks like an absolute blast. The MTG video games they have recently are quite fun and this seems to be along those lines. This game looks like something for casuals as well as competitive gamers. The booster packs are expected to cost around $1, but you’ll also be able to earn them – kind of the same way League of Legends and other free to play games work where you can slowly earn what you need or go ahead and pay up front.

We have an interview tomorrow for the new game. If you have any questions you’d like to see us ask add them below in the comments!

ANNOUNCEMENT VIDEO

FACT SHEET

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. 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!

Game Modes

  • Play Mode: Duel opponents online to boost your medal ranking and earn packs of cards. Whether you’re a grizzled veteran, curious newcomer, or fall somewhere in between, our matchmaking system will pit you against worthy competition.
  • The Forge: Put your skills to the test in this mode where deck-building is half the fun. You’ll be presented with a series of card choices from which you must forge your deck, and then you’ll bring that deck into battle against other duelists. In addition to having a chance to win card packs as prizes if you duel well, all participants will keep the cards they selected for their Forge deck.
  • Practice Mode: Hone your skills and test out new deck ideas against basic or expert AI opponents, and unlock eight playable heroes in the process.

Key Features

Collection Manager: Peruse your ever-expanding card collection and build a variety of custom decks to suit all kinds of strategies. If you’re new to deck-building, you can also get guided help here on how to fill out your deck for competitive play.

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.

 

BETA TESTING

At the FAQ section below there are more details about beta. Beta testing starts this Summer 2013. You can sign up to participate in beta by going to the bottom of the page at the USA Heroesofwarcraft.com website or the Europe website.

Press Release

New free-to-play strategy card game for PC and iPad® lets you hang up your sword . . . and throw down your gauntlet

Hands-on demos at PAX East this weekend, beta test starting soon

BOSTON –(BUSINESS WIRE)– Pull up a chair across from an old friend at the tavern table and prepare for a few rounds of lively card-vs.-card warfare. Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. laid its virtual cards on the table today with the unveiling of Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™, a new cross-platform free-to-play game for Windows®, Macintosh®, and iPad®.

In Hearthstone, players build card decks centered around one of nine iconic Warcraft® character classes and duel each other for fun, glory, and the chance to win awesome new cards. PAX East attendees are able to go hands-on with Hearthstone this weekend, and Blizzard will begin beta testing for the game very soon—no, seriously.

“We’ve always loved collectible card games at Blizzard, so it’s been exciting to bring everything we love about the genre to life in Hearthstone,” said Mike Morhaime , CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment . “We’re putting a lot of focus into creating a fun new game that’s easy to pick up and play, but also has a lot of depth. We can’t wait to share it with everyone.”

Deceptively simple in design but epically engaging, Hearthstone will be instantly accessible to players regardless of their familiarity with Warcraft or collectible card games. Whether players prefer to wield magic or arms in battle, strike from the shadows or head on—or have never given any of that much thought—they’ll be able to jump right in, create a deck, and get in on the card-slinging action.

In addition to honing their skills in practice matches against the computer and taking on their buddies via their Battle.net® friends list, players can challenge each other in two competitive game modes. “Play Mode” features traditional head-to-head battles, with players facing off for a chance to increase their medal ranking and earn card packs along the way. And for a different type of challenge, players can enter “The Forge,” where they start each match by building a deck from a new set of cards, and then use that deck to duel other Forge participants. Aside from winning new cards, players will be able to round out their collections by purchasing new card packs or disenchanting some of their existing cards to craft the ones they’re missing.

With hundreds of cards to choose from, featuring a wide range of colorful Warcraft spells, weapons, and characters, players will have limitless possibilities for developing and fine-tuning their deck-building strategies. Further details about Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will be announced as development progresses. To learn more about the game, stay tuned to http://www.PlayHearthstone.com. With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available—visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply.

 

Official Screenshots

Video Trailer

Jason Hayes announced via twitter that he composed the The Hearthstone: Warcraft of Heroes soundtrack.

Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft – Fireside Duel

Hearthstone – Building The Fire

Blizzard employees/developers talk about the development of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and more about Team 5 and their role at Blizzard.

FAQ


What is Hearthstone™?

Hearthstone is a free-to-play digital strategy card game that anyone can enjoy. Players choose to play as one of nine epic Warcraft® heroes, and then take turns playing cards from their customizable decks to cast potent spells, use heroic weapons or 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. We’re excited to be working on something different from our other games, which we’ve wanted to do for a long time. Same goes for creating a game for iPad® in addition to PC. It’s been a thrill to work on Hearthstone and to finally be able to reveal it to the community, and we hope everyone has as much fun playing it as we’ve had building it.

Do I need to know anything about strategy 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.

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 new playable heroes in the process.
  • Play mode: Duel other players to increase your medal ranking—which indicates your skill level and the level of opponents you’ll face (resets weekly)—and earn new card packs along the way. Whether you’re a grizzled veteran or curious newcomer, or fall somewhere in between, Battle.net® matchmaking will pair you up against a worthy opponent.
  • The Forge: 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 cards provided for the match, and then duel other Forge participants for a chance to win card packs. The cards you select to build your deck with are yours to keep and can be added to other decks in your collection after your Forge duels are complete. Note that you must trade in a certain number of card packs to participate in a Forge match (further details to be announced later).
  • 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’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 each time you play a game (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 or created using the crafting system (certain achievements grant them as well). They’re distinguished by their rarity—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 expert cards 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.

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.

What are the different types of cards in Hearthstone?

Once you’ve selected which hero you want to play as, there are three types of cards you can build your deck with in Hearthstone: spells, weapons, and minions. Each card falls into either the “basic” or “expert” card set (see below).

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, and 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: By participating in traditional head-to-head matches, players have a chance to win card packs.
  • The Forge: Build a deck by selecting one card from each of a series of randomized card choices, and then play against other Forge participants. The cards you pick to build your deck are yours to keep—play well enough, and you could win even more. Note that you must trade in a certain number of card packs to participate in The Forge (further details to be announced later).
  • 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 random cards using your Battle.net Balance or a variety of supported payment methods. One of the cards will always be of “rare” rarity or greater; in some cases, you may find that one or more additional cards has also “upgraded” to a higher tier of rarity.
  • Achievements: Certain achievements in the game may grant additional cards.

How many cards are available in the game?

There are over 300 cards in Hearthstone. All of these can be earned, with some cards granted for dueling the A.I. or completing achievements and others found inside card packs that can be earned by playing in Play mode and The Forge. 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.

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.

On which platforms will Hearthstone be available?

Hearthstone will initially be available for Windows® and Macintosh®, with a version for iPad coming later.

What comes in a card pack?

Each pack comes with five random 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 card of rare or better quality per pack. Each card in the pack also has a chance to upgrade to a “Golden” version of the same card.

How do I apply for the beta test?

Just visit www.playhearthstone.com to opt-in with your Battle.net account!

How will I get cards in the beta test? Do I need to purchase them with real money?

We do plan to test the in-game store during the beta test, and players will be able to purchase card packs using their Battle.net Balance or other Battle.net-supported payment methods. Players will also be able to obtain cards through Practice mode, Play mode, and The Forge.

The card pack price in the beta test does not necessarily reflect what the final prices will be at launch.

Will the cards I earn or purchase in the beta test carry over into the live game? What happens if I purchased beta card packs for real money?

Prior to launch your card collection will be reset, and any cards you acquired through a purchased card pack or earned during the beta test will be removed. However, any purchases you made during the beta test will be credited back to you in the form of new, unopened card packs at launch, equal to the value you spent during the beta test. Please note that these will not contain the same cards as those received from card packs in the beta test. Also, as a thank-you for testing out the in-game store during Hearthstone’s beta phase, everyone who purchased a card pack in the beta test will get a special gift.

I don’t live in the US; can I still participate in the beta test?

We hope to launch a beta test in other game regions after the initial beta-test launch in North America, but we don’t have any specifics to announce at this time. Stay tuned for updates.

Where will Hearthstone be available?

Our goal is to make Hearthstone available in the same regions supported by World of Warcraft, but we don’t have details to share just yet.

 

THE LAUNCH DETAILS (SO FAR)


When will Hearthstone be released?

We’re not sure yet—what we do know is that we’re going to take as much time as necessary to make sure Hearthstone is as fun and polished as possible.

How do I get Hearthstone?

Once the game is live, you’ll be able to download it free directly from Blizzard. We’ll provide further details, including how to purchase card packs, as we get closer to launch.

What ages are appropriate?

Hearthstone has not yet received its final rating.

On which platforms will Hearthstone be available?

Hearthstone will initially be available for Windows® and Macintosh®, with a version for iPad coming later.

Where will Hearthstone be available?

Our goal is to make Hearthstone available in the same regions supported by World of Warcraft, but we don’t have details to share just yet.

When will the iPad version be available?

Hearthstone will be available in the App Store as soon as possible after its release on Windows and Macintosh PCs.

Will Hearthstone be localized? Which languages?

We’re planning to localize Hearthstone in the same languages as World of Warcraft wherever possible. We’ll post the final language list as soon as we can.

I play World of Warcraft, too! Can I earn anything for my WoW characters by playing Hearthstone?

We’re looking into a few possibilities and hope to have more details to share in the future.

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 even know what World of Warcraft is 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 choose to 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. You’ll be provided with brief reasoning behind these recommendations so that you can learn a little more about how to build a great deck.

What comes in a card pack?

Each pack comes with five random 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 but not its power.

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 Forge work?

You’ll be able to enter The Forge by trading in unopened card packs (further details to be announced later). These packs can be earned free in Play mode (or won in previous Forge games that you might have played), or you can purchase them from the in-game store. Once you are in, you will build a special Forge 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 Forge participants until you win or lose a specific number of matches. At the end, you keep all the expert cards that were in your deck—and depending on how well you performed you could win additional card packs.

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 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 Forge—can be disenchanted. Basic cards (i.e., cards with no rarity indicator) cannot be disenchanted.

 

THE TECHNICAL STUFF

How do I pay for cards?

On Windows and Macintosh PCs, 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.

What are the system requirements for Hearthstone?

We’ll announce specific system requirements closer to launch.

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 or congratulate or threaten your opponent with the voice of the hero you are playing.

Are you supporting Android tablets?

Hearthstone will launch on Windows, Macintosh, and, later on, iPad. We’re looking into the possibility of supporting additional platforms in the future, but we don’t have any further info to share at this time.

Will Hearthstone run on my iPhone?

Hearthstone is for Windows and Macintosh PCs and iPad only.

Do you need a Battle.net account to play Hearthstone?

We’re still working out the details for iPad, but 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 account to play Hearthstone?

Nay, ye do not!

Will there be parental controls for Hearthstone?

Yes. Parents will be able to use Battle.net’s Parental Controls system to restrict their child’s ability to purchase additional card packs within Hearthstone.

 

THE BETA TEST

How will I get cards in the beta test? Do I need to purchase them with real money?

We do plan to test the in-game store during the beta test, and players will be able to purchase card packs using their Battle.net Balance or other Battle.net-supported payment methods. Players will also be able to obtain cards through Practice mode, Play mode, and The Forge.
The card pack price in the beta test does not necessarily reflect what the final prices will be at launch.

Will the cards I earn or purchase in the beta test carry over into the live game? What happens if I purchased beta card packs for real money?

Prior to launch your card collection will be reset, and any cards you acquired through a purchased card pack or earned during the beta test will be removed. However, any purchases you made during the beta test will be credited back to you in the form of new, unopened card packs at launch, equal to the value you spent during the beta test. Please note that these will not contain the same cards as those received from card packs in the beta test. Also, as a thank you for testing out the in-game store during Hearthstone’s beta phase, everyone who purchased a card pack in the beta test will get a special gift.

Will my progress in the beta test—unlocking heroes, earning cards, my ranking—carry over to the final game?

No way! In the interest of fairness, everything will be reset after the beta test ends so that players can be on equal footing when the game launches.

How do I apply for the beta test?

Just visit www.playhearthstone.com to opt-in with your Battle.net account!

I don’t live in the US; can I still participate in the beta test?

We hope to launch a beta test in other game regions after the initial beta-test launch in North America, but we don’t have any specifics to announce at this time. Stay tuned for updates.

© 2013 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Hearthstone is a trademark, and Warcraft, Battle.net and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S., and/or other countries. Windows is a trademark of the Microsoft group of companies. Mac and IPad are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. All other trademarks referenced herein are the properties of their respective owners.

 

Press Kit Artwork

Press Kit Minion & Class Cards Art

Press Kit Heroes (Full)

Blizzplanet – PAX East Coverage

Blizzard Entertainment invited Blizzplanet and other gaming sites to the PAX East Game Announcement Event. Here are some of our interviews and press media kit coverage.

Blizzplanet Gaming: The Bearded Gamer Returns

the-bearded-gamer

Chris “The Bearded Gamer” Arnone and the M Productions cameraman have returned from well-deserved vacations. The Blizzplanet Gaming videocast’s Blizzard Weekly News has now a new format. The new show will report World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III weekly news. Of course, anything concerning Blizzard All-Stars, Next-Gen MMO Titan and whatever Project Blackstone turns out to be.

Launch the video by clicking this image.

In this show Chris talk about the following topics:

WoW news

New Pet to purchase – the Cinder Kitten
Mounts are 50% off (ended already)
Patch 5.1 releases

Sc2 news

Battl.ent World Championships
MLG Fall Championship
Heart of the Swarm gets a release date

Diablo news

Patch 1.0.6 and patch 1.0.7
PvP Blog Delayed
Diablo statue now on sale at Sideshow Collectibles

Other

Project Blackstone URL purchase by Blizzard

Keyboard Confessional (we need to find a new name):
What are your thoughts on making StarCraft 2 multiplayer Free to Play?

Blizzplanet: The Week of Warcraft Web Show Episode # 1

bearded-gamer-warcraft

Our pilot episode of our weekly Warcraft show goes over the latest news in the Warcraft universe and licensed products. This particular show is a bit rough around the edges with several little mistakes but we’ll continue improving the quality as we go.

In this show Chris Arnone (The Bearded Gamer) talks about the new UI feature to report players, our speculation that Mists of Pandaria release date, JINX World of Warcraft Spring 2012 collection, Mega Bloks Barrens Chase Preview. — go to YouTube and subscribe to BlizzplanetGaming Channel.

Errata: There was a mistake in the show where Chris says “Staghorn” instead of “Shaghorn”. He doesn’t write the script, so it’s not his mistake. Apologies.

Web Show Notes

Blizzplanet’s StarCraft Summary Web Show Episode 1: MLG, NASL, TwitchTV partner with CBS Interactive

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Chris Arnone (The Bearded Gamer) talks in our first StarCraft Summary Web Show about the StarCraft units recently trimmed from the game, and speculation on when StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm beta might launch, RISK: StarCraft, North American Star League starts this week, and more.

Our Web show producer, Eldorian said: “A brand new show that Blizzplanet is producing in partnership with The Bearded Gamer. We plan on going over the past weeks news of StarCraft and the eSports world.

This is our pilot episode and some things are still a bit rough around the edges. We love feedback and are working to keep improving each week.”

Show notes:

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