Today is the day! Are you going to be watching BlizzConline? If so, and you want to watch with the executive producers of The Happy Hearthstone, please join Jillyb and I as we co-stream the BlizzConline event today and tomorrow (February 19-20) on GuyGrumpy’s Twitch page. And check back later, as we’ll be updating this page with our thoughts each day! Also, if you’re going to watch, be sure to join The Happy Hearthstone Discord so that you can voice chat with us and share in our excitement!
Our schedule will be (all times Pacific):
Friday, 2/19 (all times Pacific (US))
2pm — Opening Ceremonies
3pm — Hearthstone Deep Dive
3:45pm — The BattleGrounds Exhibition
During the BattleGrounds Exhibition, we’ll have that up on the stream, but run our own lobby and join the Discord at that time for trash talking and sharing our fandom of the announcements!
Saturday, 2/20 (all times Pacific (US))
12pm — Hearthstone Q&A
12:30pm — Blizzard Art Studio: Reno Jackson
1:00pm — Community Showcase
We ended up watching the Streamer Showcase and having a ton of fun with it, and then got to hang out with Chuckmate360, WolframHS, and imaslinky in Discord afterward!
The best laid plans of mice and men… We obviously had hoped to get some write-ups each day, but content creation is hard! I hope you enjoyed the show as much as Jilly and I did — it was definitely the right choice to co-stream the event, as it gave a feel that we were experiencing it together. I LOVED being able to hang out and chat with y’all as it was going on — certainly was a fun way to kick off preparations for the YEAR OF THE GRIFFON!
The day started pretty great with the announcements. Hearthstone got to go second! We’re getting the new set, Forged in the Barrens, with a target release date of March 22! It’s going to be heavily Horde themed, and includes some iconic characters that people who have played Horde in World of Warcraft will remember. I was definitely hit with nostalgia when they announced Mankrik, with a battlecry to help him find his wife. I’m really looking forward to what they do with this, thematically.
The new keyword for this set is Frenzy, which provides an effect the first time it survives damage (no matter how it is applied). Seems like it is going to be pretty powerful, with effects running from shuffling buffed minions into your deck, or attacking an enemy.
Spells are also getting a bit of an update, with two changes. First is the addition of Ranked spells, which are like the Omega cards from Boomsday (which had an extra effect if you had 10 mana). The Ranked spells are exclusive to spells, and have two upgrades — one at 5 mana, one at 10, to ensure that it stays useful throughout the course of the game!
The other change is that many spells are going to get a school assigned, and this will be retroactively added to existing cards. So, for instance, Fireball will be added to the Fire School, etc. The schools of magic are Arcane, Fel, Fire, Frost, Holy, Nature, and Shadow (just in time for the shadow priest to return in the core set!). So far, we haven’t seen any specific interactions that play off of the schools, but I’m imagining that like the WoW TCG, there will be things like minions with protection from specific school types, or specialization bonuses if you have built your deck around only a specific spell school. More to come, but a very exciting mechanic for the design space!
The new mode promised in phase 3 of the Year of the Phoenix has been pushed into phase 1 of the Year of the Griffon, and it is going to be Mercenaries! Details were a little light, but it appears to be a roguelike mode, where you’ll have a team of 3 characters running through a chained series of challenges. We aren’t quite sure how it will work, but are being told that it’s not a deckbuilder — so you’ll just level up your character and equipment while taking on challenges. It was presented as single player, but they did mention multiplayer in the Q&A, so it will be interesting to see how this all develops.
Core Set and Year of the Griffon Roadmap
There was also some more news on the Core Set front! We’re going to be getting a dump of the changes coming on Thursday, February 25! We got a little preview of the changes to the dragon aspects. Ysera, Malygos, and Deathwing were all updated with more of the modern design principles…pretty major changes there, so it should be exciting to see what the core set brings. It’s still a little unclear if the new versions will be available in Wild along with their old counterparts, or if the old versions will be exclusive to the new Classic mode.
Regardless, it leaves a lot to be excited about for Hearthstone in the coming year — lots of great stuff on the roadmap! Looking forward to spending the year hearing your opinions and sharing my own! Thank you for being a part of The Happy Hearthstone!
We are giving away one Mega Bundle of Forged in the Barrens (which includes 80 packs, 5 golden packs, 2 golden legendaries from the set, the alternate hero portrait and card back for the new alternate druid hero Hamuul Runetotem, and the seasonal Battlegrounds perks (and $80 value!). I’ll also be picking a second winner who will take home Glimr, the new purple murloc available in the Gear Store (unfortunately, due to shipping costs, Glimr will only be available to winners in the United States).The Happy Hearthstone BlizzCon Giveaway!