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Blizzard to Giveaway 10,000 Hearthstone beta keys at the Brasil Game Show 2013

We have some news for the Brazilian fans who visit the Blizzard booth at the Brazil Game Show 2013. Throughout the five-day event, Blizzard will giveaway 10,000 keys to access the Hearthstone : Heroes of Warcraft closed beta.

The distribution will be made for those who test the game at the Brasil Game Show stations and through various activities – such as contests from the beginning to the end of each day to those who visit the Blizzard booth.

There will be several Diablo III console stations for the attendees, and of course, Hearthstone stations.

Not attending the Brasil Game Show? You might be able to join Hearthstone beta through yout Battle.net account opt-in option. Register now: http://www.PlayHearthstone.com. From time to time new keys are distributed to the Brazilian players enrolled in the official Hearthstone website.

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My Tantrum Deck

Since the wipe I’ve been trying to create a strong Constructed deck to complete quests and generally just muck about in Hearthstone’s often surprising Constructed mode. When I acquired my gold I decided not to invest in the Arena but instead purchase packs and bolster my meager card collection. I knew that any legendaries I received would dictate the decks I constructed, at least at first. Before the wipe I had The Black Knight and Cenarius. My Malfurion deck was fairly strong but slow and built around ramping quickly in the early game. I was sad to lose the Black Knight; he’s limited but the Battlecry can be devastating against Ironbark Protectors, Sunwalkers, and the heavy taunts that slow down an onslaught.

So I opened my new packs and got two legendaries to replace the two I lost: Edwin VanCleef and Grommash Hellscream. No general legendaries but two of the better ones. I assembled a warrior deck as quick as I could and started playing. After a handful of games getting crushed I reworked it into a theme around Battle Rage and Enrage effects.

It’s not the most novel deck but it works well – I’m 14-2 with it, and the losses were close. It’s quick but the real power rests in its blitz potential. A few charge minions, Cruel Taskmasters, and Inner Rages and suddenly the creatures aren’t only charging, they’re devastating. Combined with the warrior’s weapons, control is somewhat maintained. Establishing an army of minions isn’t the focus – drop one or two creatures, let them be ignored, then punish the following turn.

Here’s the card list:
Inner Rage x2
Execute x2
Whirlwind x2
Fiery War Axe x2
Battle Rage x2
Cleave x2
Slam x2
Amani Berserker x2
Cruel Taskmaster x2
Raging Worgen x2
Warsong Commander x2
Arathi Weaponsmith
Kor’kron Elite x2
Arcanite Reaper x2
Gurubashi Berserker x2
Grommash Hellscream

My sideboard is simple. If I’m concerned the deck is weak or feeling anxious about the late game I use Frothing Berserker and Spiteful Smith is great for bumping up the weapons equipped. If you don’t have a Grom, swapping in either of those or an extra Arathi Weaponsmith would be good moves. Combined with Spiteful Smith and an Arcanite Reaper, Bloodsail Raider is another sneaky power play. Warsong Commander lets her hit right out of the gate, too.

It’s a fun deck and it allows for ample card draw. Give it a whirl and tell me what you think.

Hearthstone Closed Beta Patch Notes – Build 1.0.0.3937

Blizzard deployed a new patch build for Hearthstone beta which addresses a few bug fixes. Warriors get a minor balance tweak decreasing the cost of “Battle Rage” and only counts friendly characters when the card is played.

hearthstone-beta-logo-patch-3749

Today is patch day! This patch contains several quality of life improvements, as well as additional bug fixes. We’ve also tuned one card during this patch, Battle Rage, as noted below. Read on to check out the full patch notes.

Warrior

  • Battle Rage now costs 2 (down from 3) and now only counts friendly characters.
  • Temporarily increased the amount of dust that you get from disenchanting Battle Rage such that it is equal to the amount of dust that it would have originally cost to craft Battle Rage.

Bug Fixes

  • General
    • Matchmaking music can now be adjusted with the volume slider.
    • Fixed a bug where renaming a deck prevented players from editing the deck.
    • Fixed a bug where players could not create or edit a deck on the accounts first attempt.
    • Credits can now be viewed in enGB clients.
    • Fixed an issue where using the spacebar to rapidly open packs made it so you couldn’t view all your cards.
    • Unlocking Advanced Collections in crafting mode will no longer cause players to become stuck in crafting mode.
    • Opened chat windows no longer overlap challenges from friends.
    • Credits roll properly when viewed in any mode.
  • Cards
    • Playing Druid of the Claw while Snipe is active no longer causes the client to halt.

Thank you for continuing to provide feedback through our forums during the closed beta testing phase of Hearthstone! Have a bug to report or feedback to share with us? You can find a link to our forums here.

If you haven’t already, you can opt-in to the Hearthstone closed beta here! — source

 

Hearthstone in The Guardian

The British daily newspaper has a solid write up of Hearthstone. It doesn’t describe much beta-players and close watchers won’t already know but it’s a good read regardless. The author, Rich Stanton, has some good quotes from Eric Dodds and Jason Chaynes about Hearthstone’s simple game mechanics as compared to other CCGs and the difficulties of playing those games online.

Dodds also mentions that the kinect feedback for Hearthstone was very important. “…when we started working on the online game we wanted to keep the soul of [physical cards] which is why we made the box, and the cards in the way they sway as you’re moving them through the environment, and the buttons that feel and respond like physical buttons.”

Staton also comments on the paradoxical fun of the Arena. He, like many, enjoys the Arena the most but finds the gold flow too slow for regular runs. Blizzard is walking a tight rope to find the proper balance between earning money from Hearthstone and opening up all the play modes easily.

The other major highlights? There’s one more patch coming before the game is launched, which is still slated for this year. The beta-less shouldn’t fret too terribly – everyday brings the game’s official launch closer and closer.

Staton’s article is available here.

Hearthstone – How to get 1600 Arcane Dust for your Uber Card

As someone who has played Hearthstone beta quite a lot, I can tell you right off the bat it is not so easy to get 1600 Arcane Dust the old-fashion way.

Old-Fashion Way

As you win games, you obtain gold either by winning three games (10 gold reward) or by completing quests (usually 40-60 gold). With the 100 gold you can buy individual card packs; or with 150 gold you can buy a pass to the Arena Mode gameplay; and if you already have some card duplicates the Crafting Mode button will pop an Arcane Dust Jar to alert you there are duplicate cards that need to be disenchanted.

In Arena, you get rewarded Arcane Dust, gold and cards, so it is recommended to play Arena Mode to collect as much Arcane Dust as possible.

Better Arcane Dust for your Buck

I did never play a TCG/CCG game ever, and don’t know the rules. I’ll mention it as often as I am able. When I first started playing Hearthstone a few months ago, I went with buying single packs of cards for 100 gold each. The results weren’t so great, but I did get a few nice cards.

After the character wipe patch, I have focused my gold spending on Arena-mode gameplay to get my new cards. Alright, an Arena Mode costs 150 gold, and you might not win many games; but this is the way to go to get better cards, and to collect your way to the 1600 Arcane Dust you need to craft the uber card you want. So this is a time investment that will eventually pay off.

Just a few minutes ago, I played Arena Mode two times. Won only 2 games each run. On my third Arena Mode run I won 4 times.

hearthstone-4-wins-in-arena

In this attempt, I got one rare, one epic and ta-da! … one Legendary golden card: King Mukla.

hearthstone-king-mukla

King Mukla costs 3 mana to play in a match and he has 5 damage and 5 health. His Battlecry is to give your opponent two bananas. However, the opponent can use each banana to add +1/1 to a selected minion. I don’t like King Mukla much. So I disenchanted it to obtain Arcane Dust toward the card I do want to craft.

When you obtain a Legendary Card that doesn’t have much appeal to you, go to the Crafting Mode browse through the card book and locate the Legendary Card. Right-click it and the Disenchant UI pops up. Click the Disenchant button and you will get 400 Arcane Dust for a Legendary Card. A rare Golden Legendary card provides 1600 Arcane Dust. According to Colorhammer and Eswift in the comments it is extremely rare to find a Golden Legendary card, so you might have to disenchant about 4 Legendary Cards to obtain 1600 Arcane Dust (400 Arcane Dust x 4 Legendary cards). Thanks for the correction.

In my case, I entered Crafting Mode again, clicked the (7+ mana) icon at the bottom to locate Ragnaros, the Firelord. Personally, I like this card a lot. It was used against me so many times, I tested its effectiveness.

It requires 8 mana. Usually by this eighth round most Hex/Sheep/Kill Command/Assassinate (etc.) have been used. If you are lucky, this card will put your opponent in serious trouble. The card itself can’t melee attack. However, at the end of your turn it will hurl an 8-damage fireball at a random enemy minion or at the enemy hero.

If the opponent throws a silence on your Ragnaros, the “Can’t Attack” rule is dismissed. In that eventuality, Ragnaros can melee attack and still kick some booty.

If you aren’t into buying cards for real money, then I recommend spending your gold efficiently in running the Arena Mode. Increase your chances to acquire Legendary cards this way, or other rarity cards and amass those 1600 Arcane Dust. It’s your best shot at crafting your desired card.

If you haven’t seen how Crafting and Disenchanting works, check out my recent article to view the UI screenshots.

Activision Blizzard to Release Third Quarter 2013 Financial Results on November 6, 2013

Activision Blizzard announced they will broadcast the Third Quarter 2013 Financial Results after the close of the market on Wednesday, November 6, 2013. Coincidence? BlizzCon 2013 takes place on November 8-9. Will Mike Morhaime have a few spoilers to share?

Personally, that would be a great move considering some people might want to watch the BlizzCon DirecTV or Livestream. Not all these conferences yield juicy announcements, but some have proven to provide approximate launch dates for beta testing.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
1:30 p.m. Pacific Time ( 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time )

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Because Everyone Needs Weapons!

Five of the nine Heroes have weapons, and several. It makes sense that they’d swing swords or axes or shoot arrows and the casting classes wouldn’t. A melee mage isn’t a viable build in Hearthstone’s progenitor. But mages, priests, warlocks, and druids still use weapons. A warlock without a weapon is half a warlock. I’ve taken the liberty of creating some epic quality weapons for the Heroes currently unarmed. To keep things balanced I’ve also added some epics for the already equipped.

Mage
Staff of the Shadowflame
6, 1/5 – +2 Spell Damage. Each time you cast a spell, lose 1 durability.

Priest
Anathema and Benediction
5, 1/1 – Your hero power now heals friendly targets and damages enemy targets.

Warlock
Healthstone
4, 0/3 – Lose 1 durability, restore 3 health to a friendly target your Hero.

Druid
Fist of Cenarius
6, 2/3 – Draw a card each time you attack.

And for the weapon ready:

Rogue
Evasion
6 – You are immune until your next turn.

Paladin
Silver Hand Champion
7, 4/5 – Battlecry: Give all other friendly minions Divine Shield.

Shaman
Lightning Shield
5 – Deal 3 4 damage to your next 3 attackers.

Warrior
Thunder Clap
5 – Deal 1 damage to all enemy minions and reduce their attack 1 until your next turn.

Hunter
Scattershot
6 – Your opponent cannot cast any spells any cards next turn.

They’re almost certainly not balanced so why not offer some suggestions in comments?

Hearthstone – Ranked Mode Medals to Reset Weekly

I was playing Hearthstone last night when around 3:00am New York Time I got the message onscreen: “Congratulations (2-star Gold) Medal earned last week.” When I won my next game, I was greeted with a Copper Medal. This didn’t bode well, and I double checked the Ranked Mode UI. Indeed, I had been ranked with a Copper medal. The server reset the Ranked Mode Medal.

hearthstone-medal-earned-last-week-congratulations

At first I thought this was a bug and reported it so. After discussing the matter with Narull (Australia/New Zealand Diablo III MVP) it was obvious that the Congratulations message stating “earned last week” means the reset was intended. Blizzard Entertainment is planning as of the current Hearthstone beta build 3890 to reset the Ranked Mode Medal on a weekly basis.

hearthstone-copper-medal-after-server-reset-congratulations-message

Of course, this is beta. Things can change overnight as Blizzard continues to test and iterate beta and listens to fan feedback.

What does it mean for players to reset Ranked Mode Medals on a weekly basis? At the moment that is unknown. Blizzard did not mention this reset in the patch notes nor on the official forums or via Twitter. A response will likely be revealed in the next few hours. Stay tuned for an update to this post.

The first thing to come to mind is that Blizzard might be planning some juicy Hearthstone rewards if the reset is weekly. Those medals have a very short lifespan and resetting weekly might burn out players’ interest unless the rewards are so awesome they keep coming week after week to reach the highest possible medal.

Rewards might be different rarity of cards, extra Arcane Dust to create new cards, or something beyond my imagination. Arena Mode works this same way, but requires 150 gold to enter.

Update

There was a blue response from Community Manager Aratil at the official Hearthstone forums

The ranked ladder was reset yesterday. This was done in order to help us to test the ladder reset functionality as we continue to work on and develop how ladder systems will be implemented for Hearthstone. We appreciate your continued testing efforts through the Hearthstone closed beta to make this game the best it can possibly be for everyone on release!

 

Hearthstone Support for MacBook Pro Retina Display?

Quality Assurance Rolkyr posted the forum thread: “Hearthstone Closed Beta Known Issues” on October 3rd.

I found curious the choice of words: “Mac retina resolutions are not yet supported.” The “not yet” part gives away there are plans to support .

Blizzard Entertainment has supported Mac users for over a decade, so it is no surprise they might be planning to support Retina users. However, MacBooks are not the only Apple product using the Retina display. The Apple iPad with Retina Display is a good example.

The Retina display on iPad makes everything look crisp and lifelike. Text is razor sharp. Colors are vibrant. Photos and videos are rich with detail. All thanks to its 3.1 million pixels — a million more pixels than an HDTV.

Blizzard plans to launch Hearthstone on iPad later in 2014. The internal iPad alpha testing apparently began a few days ago, as Rob Pardo implied via Twitter.


Known Issues:

Gameplay

  • Setting a custom deck name can cause issues when trying to edit the contents of the deck. Restarting the client will allow you to edit the deck again.
  • The first custom deck you create on the account can cause the client to halt. This only occurs with a mage custom deck and a client restart is needed.
  • Sometimes daily quests are not granted immediately.
  • Sometimes minions will shift positions on the board.
  • The AI can make incorrect choices.
  • The End Turn button can appear at the incorrect angle.
  • An already opened chat history window overlaps any pop ups for friendly challenges.
  • The Credits do not roll properly when viewed from the lobby of Play Mode, Practice Mode or The Arena.

UI

  • Opening multiple packs in a row using ‘Spacebar’ can cause the client to become unresponsive. A client restart is needed to work around the issue. This is only a visual bug and the cards are added to your collection properly.
  • Alt+tabbing while on a loading screen can cause graphical issues.
  • Alt+tabbing on a Mac can cause the Dock to remain visible.

Client

  • The client can become unresponsive when quitting from the menu.
  • The sound effects from pack opening can loop.
  • Mac retina resolutions are not yet supported.
  • Alt+tabbing can cause audio to be heard when the client is not in focus or to not be heard in-game.
  • OSX specific keyboard commands do not function consistently with other Blizzard title.
  • The Warcraft 2 music is incorrectly controlled with the SFX slider as opposed to the music slider.

Cards

  • Returning a card to a player’s hand can cause the card to remain facedown on the board.

 

Hearthstone – Detailed Card History

Before the patch that wiped characters I can only remember when hovering your mouse over a card in the “card history” tab — on the left side of the Hearthstone board, you only saw the card name, type and flavor description text.

Now the card history contains a bit more information such as what cards it destroyed, or what card or hero it healed.

hearthstone-detailed-card-history

This new feature actually makes me wonder if Blizzard is planning to introduce some sort of Replay feature as seen in StarCraft/StarCraft: Brood War, StarCraft II and Warcraft III. There isn’t really much time to play your cards, and check out the history and checkout what happened last round or several rounds before the current round.

Maybe some sort of lobby where one can only browse through the detailed history outside Play Mode, where the player can actually see the name of that hateful card that annihilated your gameplay, to later plan to craft that card. A way to learn from other players’ strategies outside of a Play Mode game.

The new “Card History” feature is useful and interesting, but will Hearthstone have a Replay feature? Does it need a Replay feature? Share your thoughts.

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