Hearthstone, the game mired in controversy, has gotten some big announcements from BlizzCon 2019. The first of these is the announcement of an “Autochess” style mode called Hearthstone Battlegrounds. That’s right, Blizzard is buying in on the hype by launching their own version of this newly popular format, and they’re using their immensely popular card game to do it.
Hearthstone Battlegrounds will see you and seven other players build a team using a random selection of units. There will also be Heroes that you can build your team around, with 24 heroes total available from the get-go. Once your all set, it’s just a matter of pressing go, and watching the carnage all play out.
The next big announcement for Hearthstone was a new expansion: Descent of Dragons. The expansion will pick up the game’s ‘narrative’ where Rise of Shadows and Saviors of Uldum left it, bringing this trilogy to a close. The expansion look like it’s setting up players to pick a side between the League of Explorers (Heathstone’s Avengers) and the supervillain team, the creatively named “League of EVIL”. The setting for this expansion is Dragonblight, an area first explored in WoW’s Wrath of the Lich King Expansion.
Along for the ride is the proto-dragon, Galakrond. Galakrond will be a special hero card that can replace the hero’s class, and has his own hero power battle cry. Tying into this new hero is the brand new mechanic Invoke. Invoke will allow players to boost Galakrond into stronger forms, such as ‘Galakrond, Azeroth’s End’.
Featuring a rambling geek, and a cinematic reminiscent of Flash Gordan; the announcement trailer sure is something else. Seriously watch it, if only for the entertainment value of watching some guy flip on a dime about Warcraft lore. In light of recent events, it seems Blizzard is trying to charm its way back into player’s hearts. But are these announcements, and the half-hearted apology given by their president, going to be enough? The ongoing controversy has had lasting ripples for the company, even going as high up as the U.S. government. Even Blizzard’s own staff seem to be upset by their actions. Given all this, it’s hard to say whether Blizzard will be able to throw enough money at the issue to make it go away. But in the end, only time will tell.