Hearthstone Closed Beta Patch Notes

Written by Andy Go on . Posted in Blizzard Entertainment, BlizzPlanet Articles, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

wipeout

Today is the day for our Hearthstone Closed Beta patch! This patch also includes the account wipe, so when the servers are available for play once more, you’ll be starting again as if you were a new player. For more information on the wipe itself, please revisit our Account Wipe Incoming blog post, found here. Now, onto the patch notes!

General

  • The maximum level is now 60, and you can earn XP in any game mode up to max level.
  • Chat has been rejiggered.
  • Gold gained in Play mode has changed from 5 gold per 5 wins to 10 gold per 3 wins.
  • You can now acquire Golden Basic minions at higher experience levels.
  • Arena rewards now give less dust and more cards.
  • More gold is guaranteed at 5 & 6 Arena wins.
  • At 9 Arena wins, you are now guaranteed an extra pack or a Golden card.
  • The animations for Secrets and Fatigue have been sped up dramatically.
  • All cards now have flavor text when you view them in your collection.
  • “Spell Power +1” has been renamed “Spell Damage +1”.
  • Heroes can be unlocked in any mode (Play/Arena/Practice)
  • Play, Practice and Friendly Play modes will now default to the custom deck selection UI if you’ve previously created a deck
  • You can now click on chat bubbles to respond
  • Social – When your friends complete an Arena run or get a Legendary card in a pack, you’ll be notified so you can tell them, “Grats!”
  • Quests that required you to win with a class now give you a choice between 2 classes.

Closed Beta Patch – Featured Updates

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

A lengthy preview of the upcoming Hearthstone patch hit today. While it doesn’t contain the patch notes themselves (those will come when the patch hits), it does describe some of the incoming changes for the game and provide some hope for those of us sick if being pummeled by Valeera.

My favorite announcement is a simple one:

After the patch, daily quests that require you to win with a specific class will now give you a choice between two classes, allowing you some additional flexibility.

 

Thank you. Thank you so much. There are some hero balancing acts coming as well which should make Anduin more fun to play but the variety is greatly appreciated. He’s not a bad hero, I just like Thrall so much more.

Some golden cards are getting new animations, there’s means to craft specific golden cards, and the wins for the Arena are being retooled to be more valuable. Nine wins now guarantees another card pack or a golden card.

The trickle rate for gold income is also getting a desperately needed buff. Rather than 5 wins for 5 gold, it’s 3 wins for 10 gold. It now takes 30 wins for a card pack, not 100.

I’m waiting eagerly for the patch. The full preview is available here, with a link for beta opt-ins at the bottom.

Favorite Arena Picks

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Blizzard Entertainment, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

More than flair, Hearthstone’s Arena is about solid cards that carry themselves. Synergy is something to spot as the deck is drafted but each pick is more about the best card at face value and not its potential when combined with a complex strategy. Constructed decks are where theme and flair can manifest with real power and presence.

But what cards have the best potential in a draft? Exact favorites vary from drafter to drafter, from deck to deck, but four out of five times I pick these cards over anything else presented. I wish I could swap most of these for a rare or even an epic when my choices are things like Angry Chicken, Coldlight Seer, or Hungry Crab.

Venture Co. Mercenary

Venture_Co._Mercenary

Its effect isn’t great, but he’s a nasty threat. It also puts your opponent in an uncomfortable position – they have to deal with him or risk him running over a weaker taunt minion or chopping the health pool down in big swings. But dealing with him removes the minion inflation cost, usually meaning you’ve baited out a polymorph, hex, or a heavy hitter of the enemy’s. Not bad for a five cost.

Heroes of the Storm Trademark in USA — Next World of Warcraft Expansion?

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, World of Warcraft News

Well, this is a surprising thing. First it appeared in New Zealand — as reported by MMO-Champion yesterday. Now the trademark has appeared on the United States Patent & Trademark website too.

I have been skeptic after “The Dark Below” one seemed as if it was a hoax, but now Heroes of the Storm has appeared on two different countries. Mind you — on United States a hoax would cost about $275 to trademark.

I visited the US Trademark website and indeed it is under Blizzard Entertainment, filed on September 24, 2013.

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Now I am not acknowledging this to be a legit trademark. Let’s keep it as a rumor for now. BlizzCon is barely 39 days from now. This is a usual timeframe for Trademark sites and Game Rating sites (PEGI,ESRB) to accidentally leak game titles not yet announced officially.

I remember when “Wrath of the Lich King” and “Cataclysm” appeared as a trademark a few days before BlizzCon. Forums and social media were speculating for days on end what “Cataclysm” meant.

“Heroes of the Storm” could be a real Blizzard trademark or it could be an expensive hoax.

What could “Heroes of the Storm” be, however, if it was a real trademark of an upcoming unannounced Blizzard game?

Hearthstone: Heroes of the Storm

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has a similar ring to it. Could it be Hearthstone: Heroes of the Storm?

Maybe. Since Ben Brode announced Hearthstone at PAX East 2013 this past February, it is widely known that Hearhtstone is targeted to be released at the end of 2013. Of course, there could be delays if they decided to reset, or further iterate. Let’s have Project Titan as an example which got the reset button to work on a new core programming and other aspects. If Hearthstone is released as a free game by December, it would make sense if Blizzard Entertainment announced the next Hearthstone expansion at BlizzCon in November 8th.

This is a smaller team of developers aiming to ship a new game yearly-ish, after all. Hearthstone was announced on February, and beta started in about 5-6 months after it was announced.

Diablo III: Heroes of the St—huh?

We know it is not a Diablo title. Obviously. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is the next Diablo expansion. This game was announced at GamesCom 2013 — check out our Developers Panel videos & the interview with Josh Mosqueira.

StarCraft II: Heroes of the St–nah!

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is the next StarCraft II expansion and the finale of the series(?). So, nope. That’s not it either.

Blizzard All-Stars: Heroes of the Storm

Ok … this one sounds interesting. Why would Blizzard name Blizzard All-Stars with a secondary title? Interesting in that this trend would mean the DOTA-style game would have expansions rather than a stand-alone game. One would think the next installment would be — I don’t know … Blizzard All-Stars 2. However, it is hard to see Blizzard not launching an expansion to one of its leading franchise titles.

What makes it very unlikely for this trademark to be a Blizzard All-Stars expansion is that — WE HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN THE BETA OF THE FIRST GAME YET.

So, could it at least be the title for the first Blizzard All-Stars game? It is plausible. Why not? I mean … hello? Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (instead of plain Warcraft II). Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (instead of plain Warcraft III). This could be argued because for some odd reason Diablo III was titled simply … Diablo III (sans-any-sort-of-secondary-title). And the original StarCraft was simply “StarCraft”.

Blizzard All-Stars: Heroes of the Storm … it has a nice ring to it. Me likes.

Update: Blizzard All-Stars was formerly known as Blizzard DOTA. The name was changed to what we known today. Warlock (“Scrolls of Lore” Admin) and another fan point out the most likely scenario is that Blizzard All-Stars is no longer to be known as “Blizzard All-Stars”. It is possible that “Heroes of the Storm” might be the name of the upcoming DOTA-style game from now on.

World of Warcraft: Heroes of the Storm

Now the most logical name trend seems to fit Hearthstone: Heroes of the Storm — but it could also be World of Warcraft: Heroes of the Storm.

I am not very convinced though. I an open to both sides of the coin here.

1. It can’t be a World of Warcraft expansion, because it breaks the trend. The Burning Crusade. Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria. All of these titles spun around the concept of either an entire legion, a bad guy or a culture. Heroes of the Storm? I mean, that would be sort of fun naming it after the players. If the trademark was for the next World of Warcraft expansion then we are the central figure of the expansion. Heroes … of … the Storm.

On one end, Alexstrasza clearly stated the Dragon Aspects were no more and from that day forward this was The Age of Mortals. Heroes like you and me are the new guardians and defenders of Azeroth.

The name scheme has a nice ring to it. Makes you wonder what Blizzard creative team might be cooking around the player becoming the protagonist of a WoW expansion.

Think about it. Throughout Patch 5.1 to 5.4, Wrathion has been preparing his champion (YOU) and any of both factions to take their rightful place as the line of defense of Azeroth.

Wrathion was a mere uncorrupted black dragon egg during the level 30-ish quests in The Badlands during The Cataclysm expansion. A red dragon sought the help of a gnome to help with the process. It was during one of those quests that we uncovered a Titan chamber with one of those Norgannon library Databanks.

The gnome used the databank on the egg. In Mists of Pandaria we learned that this databank actually did something to Wrathion — who was in that egg. It infused him with Titan knowledge and maybe even magic. It caused him to have visions of the future — where he saw an incoming “Storm”. The Burning Legion is returning to Azeroth. If you haven’t checked it out yet — I have almost all the Legendary Wrathion Questline quests archived with a transcript and videos.

Wrathion: Very good. Let’s talk. Tong! Drinks, please. My father, Deathwing, tried to destroy the whole of Azeroth.

He was misguided, of course, but he was right about one thing: Our world is… so fragile. We are a point of light in a universe of shadow. A candle in a tempest. Sometimes I think it was the very precariousness of our world that drove my father to madness.

Ah, thank you Tong.

Now, to my point. I believe we are headed towards a reckoning. And no, I am not talking about the current conflict between the Alliance and Horde. Believe me – what Garrosh Hellscream achieved in Theramore is nothing compared to the horrors that are even now bearing down on our fragile home.

But the war deeply troubles me. Do you see my concern? A divided Azeroth cannot possibly stand against the darkness. The war has to end. Soon. Before it consumes our strength!

You can rest assured that my loyalties lie with your Horde. How do we bring a swift and decisive end to the conflict? I believe the answer lies with heroes like you. We must ensure that you are up to the task… and then equip you accordingly.

 

As those words were spoken, Wrathion shows a sort of holographic projection of the world of Azeroth bombarded by fel fire or Infernals falling through the sky into Azeroth. The Heroes of the Storm trademark might be a reference to the upcoming storm — the return of the Burning Legion.

During the Sunwell Plateau raid dungeon in The Burning Crusade, the draenei Prophet Velen foretold about agents of the Light battling the Burning Legion in a near future. M’uru the naaru knew this too and willingly energized the Sunwell to be the new source of magic of the Blood Elves. Velen knew the Blood Elves had a role to play in the upcoming storm: The return of the Burning Legion.

On the other hand, it is possible that Blizzard might want to set Queen Azshara as the next expansion’s center villain as a trampoline to introduce the Burning Legion expansion.

It has been hinted before in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. During the quest The Return of the Resting, we find four Kvaldir spirits. These are similar to the Vrykul, but these Kvaldir are a underwater civilization.

Fengir the Disgraced says: Your offering has come too late, little one. Can you feel the mist closing in upon you? The Kvaldir return…
Rodin the Reckless says: From the mist and fog the Kvaldir approach. Flee while you still breathe the air of the living…
Isuldof Iceheart says: Look to the seas, as your doom comes with the swell of tides.
Windan of the Kvaldir says: My brothers have awoken. Your efforts are wasted…

 

That kinda sounded pretty stormish. The Kvaldir actually gave pause to the naga later in the Cataclysm expansion during the Vash’jir quests. The naga are planning something wicked. In the Cataclysm expansion they were seeking an artifact off the coast of Desolace to level entire continents. In Vash’jir the naga allied with the underwater Faceless Ones to take the power of Neptulon in the name of Azshara.

Recently, when asking about the Timeless Isle’s underwater content — a Blizzard developer — Cory Stockton told to Blizzplanet: “There are definitely some stuff in the water; but we know that water doesn’t always provides the best gameplay experience for WoW.”

Doesn’t seem like Blizzard was too satisfied with Vash’jir’s underwater gameplay after all. What if the naga somehow managed to rise the bottom of the sea to the surface though? There is actually one item of power capable of such a fit. It has been used already as a weapon in World of Warcraft. The Focusing Iris. In the Christie Golden novel — World of Warcraft: Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War, Jaina is the last person to take possession of the Focusing Iris at the end of the novel — even masked its presence from Kalec the blue dragon, keeping its location a secret.

Conclusion

“This trademark could be the real deal or it could be an expensive hoax by someone who has the cash to place fake trademarks.” — you might think.

However, if you look it up in the US Patent & Trademark website — The Dark Below was never seen as a finalized trademark, and it was never in the Blizzard Entertainment trademark list. “Heroes of the Storm”, however, can be seen on the Blizzard Entertainment trademark list, registered by the Blizzard lawyer. Now that’s something to ponder.

The World of Warcraft: Heroes of the Storm is less likely to be it. I am going with Warlock’s gut guru-“ing” here. It does sound like Blizzard All-Stars might have been renamed for good.

BlizzCon is in 39 days. Not long before we can sate our curiosity and hunger. What is “Heroes of the Storm”? Grab one of those BlizzCon Virtual Tickets to watch the entire Blizzard panels on DirecTV or to watch the livestream on your internet browser to find out what it is.

UPDATE

This post was originally published on September 30, 2013. It’s been 17 days since posted. On October 17th, Blizzard Entertainment launched the official Heroes of the Storm website with a Carbot Animations video to debut the news that Blizzard All-Stars is now known as “Heroes of the Storm”.

Hearthstone Beta Characters Wipe and Beta Opt-ins incoming

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Zeriyah revealed plans to initiate a Hearthstone closed beta wipe. This means all your data including characters and card decks will be deleted in Hearthstone beta.

Blizzard is transitioning to better hardware to test the latest Hearthstone build in a bigger scale. This means a new wave of Hearthstone beta opt-ins will begin, and more waves afterwards. This won’t all happen overnight. Keep your attention on social media and fansites for new info as it becomes available.

The wipe in closed beta is very important to us, and marks a pretty big milestone that we hope a lot of you can be excited about.

First off, wipes aren’t super fun. In fact, they are negative fun. We chose to wipe in the closed beta at this point so we can impact as few people as possible. We understand that wiping data in Hearthstone may cause some frustration for people, but we anticipated having to do this since day one. Wiping will allow us to balance classes and carefully monitor that balance with a bigger player pool.

A bigger player pool? What? Well, after the wipe and patch that goes with it, we’ll be on different hardware than we were before. I’ll spare you the boring behind-the-scenes details, but we were limited in the amount of people we could invite to the first part of closed beta just due to these hardware limitations. With this patch and wipe, we’ll be making some serious transitions into hardware that can accommodate a larger pool of players. TLDR: Brace yourselves, the opt-ins are coming.

It’ll be a process—the gates won’t swing wide open right away, since we still need to make sure this hardware can hold up to the punishment we’re about to inflict upon it. However, as we invite more players to the closed beta test, the feeling of “hey, he’s in closed beta now and I’m not so he has a big advantage!” will diminish greatly since those players that have that small amount of play time “benefit” will soon be in the vast minority.

 

Hello Hearthstone players (and members of our gracious community still trying to get into the beta)!

Thank you for stopping by to read this important closed beta test update. At the start of the beta, we mentioned that we would reset information at some point, wiping all progress and cards in the process. We built this into our plan as we knew going into the beta that a number of cards were likely to emerge as overpowered and we also knew that we‘d make significant adjustments to the reward system and overall game progression. So, as part of the effort to level the playing field and also prepare our players’ accounts for the release version of our progression system, we made the decision to schedule a one-time wipe of all beta participant accounts. We have just about reached the point in closed beta where we’ll be doing this wipe, and thus wanted to share what that will mean for you, what to expect on the day of the wipe, and what will happen immediately afterwards.

A wipe? What’s a wipe?

If you are participating in the Hearthstone closed beta test, your progress will be reset. This includes your gold, experience and class levels gained through play, arcane dust quantities, cards unlocked through progression, and your medal ranking in Ranked Play mode. When you load up the game afterwards, it will be as if you were starting in Hearthstone as a new player. You’ll have to play the introductory missions once more and show Illidan just how prepared he is! (Spoilers: He’s not.)

When is the wipe happening?

We’re getting ready to release a pretty major beta patch to Hearthstone, and the wipe will coincide with that patch so we can closely monitor testing with the implemented updates.

A patch! What’s in the patch!?

We’ll announce details of the patch in a separate blog, so stay tuned!

I spent real money in Hearthstone! Is that going away!?

No way! As we mentioned in the earlier blog, any money you spent in Hearthstone will be reimbursed as gold, so you will be able to repurchase the same number of packs and Arena tickets you bought previously without additional investment. For each card pack purchased with real money, you’ll get back 100 gold. Each Arena entry will get you back 150 gold. Please note that any packs you purchase after the wipe will be different than the ones you had previously, so it is unlikely that you will receive the same cards again.

A couple examples:

  • Tim bought the $2.99 bundle for 2 packs during the beta. After the wipe, he will receive 200 gold (100 gold per pack x 2 packs.)
  • Janet bought the $49.99 bundle for 40 packs during the beta. She also bought 3 Arena entries. Janet will receive 4450 gold (100 gold x 40 packs + 150 gold X 3 Arena runs) after the wipe has been completed.

Like all gold, the reimbursed gold credit can be spent on either packs or Arena tickets. So if you bought a pack bundle previously, and would prefer to use your gold credit towards Arena entry, that’s available as an option.

Did you know: Getting back a lot of gold and need to buy a lot of packs at the same time? You can buy mass quantities of packs with gold by double-clicking on the brown “1 Pack” button in the store!

I helped test the store and got a Golden Gelbin Mekkatorque card! Is he wiped too?

Your good friend Gelbin will be waiting for you as soon as you complete the Illidan introductory mission. As soon as you’ve completed that mission you will receive the “Beta Hero” quest reward which will grant you Gelbin, as well as the gold credit for any purchases made prior to the wipe.

Will there be any wipes in the future?

We don’t anticipate any further wipes. This goes for both the Hearthstone beta and after the game’s official release. Any progress made during the beta after the wipe will be retained through the release of Hearthstone, such as new cards you obtain, levels that you gain and ranks you achieve. Basically, you’ll now be able to keep your stuff.

Wait, how will this work for Korea, Taiwan, and China? Closed beta hasn’t even started there yet!

Korea, Taiwan, and China will not be wiped. The wipe only applies to the beta participants currently playing in the North American and European beta tests. — source

 

2P Hearthstone Streamer Invitational Tournament Today!

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

2P is hosting a Hearthstone tournament today, which is already underway. The rounds are a best of three elimination, with the grand final as a best of five. 2P’s official page is here. It provides links to their official Twitch stream and the Twitch streams of the players.

The decks are all constructed beforehand and have been absolutely monstrous. This is an excellent opportunity to watch some great plays and learn what some of the best can do. Good luck to all the contenders!

How many minions again?

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Entertainment, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Hearthstone provides a useful graph of information when constructing an Arena deck: the mana curve. It’s an invaluable chart that can help smooth out the transition from early to mid to late game, fix problems as you construct a deck (too many high costs cards, or no beefy minions at all). Certain deck strategies can subvert the curve or ignore it entirely, but most decks and their players watch it carefully. I’d like the mana curve added when making custom decks in Play mode because of how useful it is. I consider its absence an oversight and it hopefully appears later.

I’d like to see another graph added to Hearthstone’s deck construction: a minion versus spell chart. While not as vital as the mana curve, displaying a bit of info about the number of minions in your deck as well as the number of spells would be helpful. A mana curve taken at face value can be deceptive because it doesn’t distinguish between card types. Lots of cost spells may keep your curve smooth but a lack of early minions may leave you vulnerable. It’s not too troublesome to count the totals or track them externally but implementing such a feature seems like a natural addition to an already robust and informative UI.

As long as I’m talking about things I’d like added to a free game, how about showing cards by type? Neutrals and class cards, basics and experts, commons, rares, epics, and legendaries. The growing list of charts could be situated across from the deck list, or a button could be added next to the deck list to flip it over and display the information. Swap, swap.

These are minor suggestions from an immensely satisfied customer, however. The game is kinetic and fun, the cards well illustrated and expansive. I’d still really like banter from the heroes to each other. There are potentially more boards in the works, which is great, but I hate waiting for them. Personally I’d love to see an Undercity board with rats scurrying across the play area, maybe dodging cards. And anything from Northrend.

What about you? Any locales you’re waiting for? Any information you’d like Hearthstone to display?

Update: I am a fool. The mana curve is available in constructed: hover over a hero’s image and you can see your current curve.

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Ben Brode Doesn’t Flip Coins

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Entertainment, Blizzard Games News, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Well, he probably does. Who doesn’t? But he’s careful and doesn’t leave the construction of Hearthstone to chance and whimsy. In a previous column I discussed the issues with the coin that most players are stirred up about. It’s a hot button issue – the coin has proponents and detractors. Hearthstone’s forums are brimming with threads discussing, at length, the impact of that little card.

But none carry as much weight as the words of Mr. Brode. In a post on the Hearthstone forums Brode details the history behind its inception, the logic for its purpose, and the hard numbers of the coin’s actual significance in games. With Hearthstone’s systems closely monitored by developers the figures aren’t amorphous, specific samples from a handful of games but rather a complete and exhaustive data set. And they provide some incredible insight into the coin’s impact.

Across all leagues, 52.2% of wins are for the player who goes first. In master league, where the giants fight, that imbalance shrinks to 50.4%. The advantage of going first isn’t insurmountable and the coin seems to be fulfilling its role as a field leveler. The passionate responses it stirs may be more related to its potential for momentum shifting: dropping a heavy minion a turn before it’s expected or delivering a powerful combo attack (as has been done to me with frustrating regularity).

Arena statistics aren’t provided, but further in the thread a player asks and Mr. Brode answers. The results are similar to standard mode, a slight advantage to going first but it isn’t significant. The coin is here to stay. I’m happy the developers provided numbers about the coin’s use and impact during a game rather than simply stating a position and expecting the players to live with it. The statistics and comments may not convince everyone but it convinces me. It’s not a game breaker, just a light touch on the scale.

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Bring BlizzCon to You with the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket – DirecTV

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Next-Gen MMO, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard Entertainment has announced the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket is now on sale. The Virtual Ticket allows you to watch live the different panels either on DirecTV or online.

Fans do not need to purchase anything to watch the WCS and Warcraft eSports Tournament Streams. Which is real nice.

What does this virtual ticket offers?

  • BlizzCon-exclusive in-game goodies for World of Warcraft®, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ (details coming soon).
  • access to an exclusive, limited-time online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale featuring a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show for 5 days.

Read the press release below:

Bring BlizzCon(R) to You with the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket

Experience Blizzard Entertainment’s epic Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® community celebration online this November 8 and 9—live and in HD Order NOW at www.blizzcon.com

IRVINE, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– BlizzCon® 2013 is just two months away—and while tickets to attend the show sold out in seconds, you can still get a virtual front-row seat at Blizzard Entertainment’s epic gaming convention with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, now available to order at www.blizzcon.com.

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The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket provides comprehensive live online HD coverage of Blizzard’s Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® community celebration, taking place November 8 and 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center . Available for $39.99 USD , the Virtual Ticket grants viewers access to both days of the show with two exclusive channels featuring unmatched BlizzCon content, including:

  • Developer Panels: Get the latest news and behind-the-scenes insight into your favorite Blizzard games—straight from the people who make them.
  • Exclusive Interviews: Dig deeper into the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo universes through exclusive interviews with Blizzard developers.
  • Community Contests: Witness the spectacle of the legendary BlizzCon Costume Contest and the new-for-2013 Talent Contest, both hosted by comedian and BlizzCon veteran Jay Mohr .
  • Closing Ceremony: Be a part of the closing festivities on Saturday night, capping off two full days of Blizzard gaming and eSports action (more details to be announced later).
  • On-Demand Replays: Rewatch epic moments with the Virtual Ticket’s DVR functionality, and catch content you might have missed for up to two weeks after the show’s over.

Bonus Loot! Anyone who orders a Virtual Ticket will also receive this year’s BlizzCon-exclusive in-game goodies for World of Warcraft®, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ (details coming soon). The Virtual Ticket also grants access to an exclusive, limited-time online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale featuring a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show.† This special pre-BlizzCon sale is scheduled to take place over a 5-day period in the weeks leading up to the show, and will be followed by a public sale offering a more limited selection of items. More details will be announced at www.blizzcon.com in the weeks ahead.

ATTN: DIRECTV® Viewers! DIRECTV customers in the United States will once again be able to join the excitement by ordering the DIRECTV BlizzCon 2013 Pay Per View event, priced at $49.99 USD , which includes the Virtual Ticket online stream and in-game goodies mentioned above as part of the purchase. More information on the DIRECTV Pay Per View event, including how to order, will be announced at a later date.

Free eSports Streams! Even if you don’t purchase a Virtual Ticket, you’ll still be able to catch plenty of BlizzCon action online. Coverage of the BlizzCon opening ceremony and this year’s BlizzCon eSports tournaments—including the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals and the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational—will be streamed for free in HD at www.blizzcon.com and the official WCS website (www.starcraft2.com/wcs).

BlizzCon 2013 would not be possible without the passion and enthusiasm of Blizzard Entertainment gamers around the world and the generosity of the event’s partners—Intel, NVIDIA, Sony Computer Entertainment , DIRECTV, SteelSeries, GIGABYTE, Rosewill, and EVGA—who provide demo-station hardware, peripherals, and more, and whose support helps make the broadcast possible.

More information on the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket can be found at www.blizzcon.com/virtual-ticket/. Further updates on BlizzCon 2013 will be available at www.blizzcon.com as the show draws nearer.

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.

†While supplies last. All orders placed in the online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale will be shipped from the United States ; international shipping rates may apply.

 

EU Closed Beta

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Blizzard Entertainment, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

After a few long weeks of waiting Hearthstone followers in the EU can start playing today, provided an invite finds its way to an inbox. The full details are available here. A high number language availability, no NDA, and a gold equivalency for money spent during the beta.

Check your inboxes, I hope to find some fresh players to duel.

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Hearthstone Closed Beta Begins in Europe

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Blizzard Entertainment announced today Hearthstone closed beta has begun in Europe. A new wave of beta key giveaways will start very soon. Stay tuned to Blizzplanet and if you haven’t yet followed us on Facebook and Twitter, now it’s a good timing to do so.

Here’s a card we’ve been dying to play: the closed beta test for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has begun in the European region!

During the closed beta test, we’ll be inviting a range of duelers from our opt-in pool (along with folks from press and fansites) to try their hand at Hearthstone and let us know what they think. There’s no NDA during the beta, and we’d love to hear all about your epic victories, watch your live streamed matches, and see screenshots and videos sharing your experiences with the game. Please note that Hearthstone is still in development, and what you see and play in the beta test isn’t necessarily representative of what to expect in the final game.

Want to participate in beta testing Hearthstone? Read on!

How do I opt in to the closed beta test?

Once you’ve set up a Battle.net account, you can choose to opt in to our beta test from the Beta Profile page. You’ll need to download and run the System Check tool to attach your computer’s specifications to your beta profile. Once that’s complete it’s simply a matter of waiting for an invite.

You can also opt in through our website here.

How do I know if I’m selected?

We’ll send you an email letting you know if you’re selected. The email will contain a beta key – just follow the instructions inside to get started.

As always, please be aware of phishing attempts – falsified emails sent by unscrupulous individuals purporting to be from Blizzard, but their real goal is to steal your login credentials. For more information on how to identify these emails, please refer to our Battle.net Security site.

One easy way to ensure your invite is legit is to avoid clicking on links in any invite emails you receive. Instead, just log in to your Battle.net account and add the beta key from your invite email to your account.

How many players do you plan on inviting to the beta test?

The number of players we invite to the Hearthstone beta will be based on our testing needs. During the course of testing we’ll be inviting additional opt-ins as necessary in waves.

Is there an NDA?

There is no NDA for the Hearthstone beta test. Take screenshots, live-stream matches, record movies – whatever your heart desires! Please keep in mind that the game is still a work in progress, and we appreciate your understanding when you encounter bugs, graphical errors, or other issues. Help us create a better game for everyone to enjoy by reporting them here!

How long will the beta test last?

We have not determined an exact date for the end of the beta test. We’ll post a notice when the beta test is nearing completion.

Do I get to keep all my beta cards?

We are planning to wipe all player collections partway through the closed beta. We anticipate needing to rebalance some cards based on the feedback we get in the closed beta, and recognize that players may have made decisions on which cards to disenchant or craft based on information that’s changing. After we’ve completed that wave of balance testing and wiped cards, we do not anticipate needing to reset collections again.

Players who purchased card packs or Arena entry with real money prior to the collection wipe will be credited back with an equivalent amount of gold following the wipe, which can be used to re-purchase packs and/or Arena entry to re-establish their collection. These packs will not contain the same configuration of cards as the packs acquired previous to the collection reset.

What languages are available in the beta?

The Hearthstone beta test is available in all our supported EU languages, which are English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Polish and Brazilian Portuguese.

How do I switch the language of the game?

To change the language of the Hearthstone beta, you’ll need to first uninstall the Hearthstone client. Then simply reinstall the Hearthstone beta from Battle.net, making sure to select the right language on the download page.

 

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Hero Banter and ditching daily quests

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Blizzard Entertainment, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

I like the chat wheel. I like the options. I don’t think it needs anything added to it, except maybe a laugh emote. It could still be abused but only one hero would have a sarcastic, condescending laugh (and he’s going to be dead soon) – the rest would be sincere laughs for a play or minion that worked well. I don’t think custom options, “Hurry Up,” “Lucky” or similar emotes will add much, if anything. Luck is part of a card game no matter how well you craft your deck but good players and good deck construction can counter it.

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garrosh-heroWhat I would like to see would is chatting between the heroes, with and without player direction. Many of them have relationships with each other or at least know of each other enough to have a strong opinion. Rexxar and Thrall are friends, or at least respect each other immensely. The “Greetings” emote could change when they meet each other in a fight.

After a particularly brutal attack, when the audience is oohing,  the two trade friendly jabs about each other’s lives. Thrall and Jaina could have uncomfortable, even awkward moments, because of their history. Anduin could be humbled by Uther, despite never meeting the most famous paladin in the history of the Knights; Thrall would probably have few pleasant things to say to Gul’dan, and vice versa.

The rivalries and alliances would just strengthen the game’s already impressive atmosphere. Warcraft is smothered in lore so why not really take advantage of it? The beta is early, of course, and balance issues are more pressing matters than what angry words Thrall and Garrosh would trade. But the little things tend to give projects that extra shine.

But for something more mechanical, why can’t we abandon daily quests? You can only have three in your log at any time and suppose you don’t want to do one of them – playing Malfurion’s druid is as much fun as trimming your nails – so why not abandon  the quest to get five wins with the deck. You don’t get another daily quest in place of it, you just don’t have that one anymore.

It’s a simple thing to add. With the trickle rate at which you acquire gold, anything that makes the grind more bearable is appreciated. It may slow it down but it makes it more fun, which is what seems to be driving the game anyway.

I’d also like some variety in the quests that make them less about grinds and more about tactics or clever playing. Maybe a quest to have a single minion deal 10 points of damage in one game? Or defeat three heroes with charge minions? The daily quests available now aren’t always hard, though I don’t enjoy playing the warrior, but they’re rarely anything interesting. There’s a lot that can be done with them to add variety to the objectives and I hope Blizzard decides to expand the options.

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Hearthstone – an addictive game even for non-TCG Players

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

I have never played a single TCG or CCG in my whole life — and I am age 40. Not that this point of reference means much considering Magic: The Gathering debuted in 1993 — when I was in my early twenty’s. Back in the day, in the 80s people used to collect Baseball cards — I didn’t even collect those. So, you can’t have me more noobish than that.

When Blizzard Entertainment announced Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft at PAX East 2013, I was sincerely disappointed. A card game? For real? I wanted a StarCraft game announcement (cough, StarCraft: Ghost) or something “StarCraft-ish” considering all that Project Blackstone hype (which I loved broadly).

A card game. I’ll be honest. I never played a card game before and I was not very interested. However, it is a Blizzard game. I’d not be a true fan if I don’t give it at least a try (I thought to myself). I am going to be blunt here. I’m TOTALLY addicted to Hearthstone. I haven’t played World of Warcraft in nigh two weeks. I haven’t even played the PTR 5.4 (I’m really sorry for not showing some videos and updates on that). I have to blame Hearthstone — err, and of course, like a mature man I have to also admit a tiny bit of blame for not prioritizing responsibilities.

The very first day I got access to Hearthstone beta, I just couldn’t drop the game. I played twelve ours straight. I lost so many times because I didn’t know how to build my deck, and still don’t. Make no mistake — I won a few by sheer luck and how easy this game is to learn. It is a math game at the core. Some spells and minions have special abilities. There comes your RTS core knowledge: Strategy. So it’s a math + strategy gameplay. Wait … add LOADS of fun in that equation, too.

The graphical, animation and voice over elements provide another layer of fun and learning curve in some cases. The game tells you when you can’t attack a unit because either you need to attack the tank, or because that unit has stealth.

Every time you play a card, it will trigger a unique voice over.

I do have a short list of rants. The game still needs some refinement in terms of automated responses — like “you can’t buff that unit”. You would be surprised how many times I have applied a buff on a unit that can’t attack the enemy in the current round. A buff gone to waste. Or spells (on the weapon slot) going off when I release the button, when I meant to instead use another card.

It is beta, anyway. Things may change, and get better through several iterative phases.

I am not sure how I am going to manage my daily time with World of Warcraft, and Blizzplanet’s news once Hearthstone comes out. I was hoping to play some Diablo III to catch up. So far, I have won 80 games and I don’t even want to know how many times I lost. If I lost in a 1:1 ratio, that’s 160 games. But reality is it may be much more than that. I have to admit — I need to visit the Hearthstone-a-olic Anon. I do have a problem. I just can’t take off my mind that One Star Gold Medal luring me to level it up to eventually reach Master League.

Note: I hope you are one of the loyal visitors of Blizzplanet who pays a visit everyday — because [very soon] you might be kicking my Gelbin Mekkatorque’s behind in beta. Hint-hint!

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At least, when beta ends I will take with me one special memento that will hopefully lay siege to a few noobs and veterans out there.

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Hearthstone – Chicken Dinner Achievement – Win 100 Games in any Mode

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Hearthstone has proven to be very addictive even for someone like me who has never played any TCG or CCG ever. As I won a match, I was greeted with the Chicken Dinner achievement which says: “Win 100 games in any mode”. That includes all the characters you leveled in the Practice Mode — which gives experience up to level 10. I had leveled about 5 characters to level 10. Won some, lost some.

The shocker really was the reward for the Chicken Dinner achievement — a whooping 300 Gold!!! One of the things this gold can be used is to buy 3 packs of cards at the Hearthstone in-game store, or two buy two entries into the Arena Mode.

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In-Game Store

With 300 Gold, you can click the In-Game Store icon to purchase 1 Pack with 100 Gold. If you wish, you can buy three packs with that amount of gold. In each pack you get 5 Expert Cards and at least one card is guaranteed to be either a rare or better.

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Arena Mode

With 300 Gold, you can have access to two Arena Mode entries. Each entry into the Arena will give you access to new card rewards. You can win as many times as you are able, but you can only lose 3 matches then your ride on the Arena is finished. The more matches you win, once you lose three times the better the card rewards and quality chances.

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Hearthstone Beta Patch 1.0.0.3749 – European Hearthstone Beta Soon

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Early this morning the Battle.net Launcher was updated, and hours later downloaded and installed a new Hearthstone patch version 1.0.0.3749 — and this one is big: 981MB approximately. That’s nigh twice the size of what the original Hearthstone installer was. The newest patch contained bug fixes, but it is also paving the way to enable Hearthstone beta in Europe.

Get ready for some exciting gameplay European fans. Beta is coming your way soon. It’s a very addicting game.

AratilThere were some minor bug fixes in this patch, but most of this patch was to prepare for the European Hearthstone environment. — source

 

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