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All Things Warcraft: Return to Blackrock

By Reza Lackey on March 16, 2015 | Columns | Comments

Return to Blackrock

At PAX East Blizzard announced details for the next Hearthstone Adventure, Blackrock Mountain. This week we go over all that we currently know about this mini-expansion. But first, BlizzCon!

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BlizzCon 2015

Blizzard has confirmed that BlizzCon 2015 will be happening! The ninth BlizzCon will take place on November 6th and 7th at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Tickets will cost $199 and go on sale in two batches, the first of which will be April 15th at 7:00 p.m. PT. As always, Virtual Tickets will be available for those unable to attend in person.

For the latest information on Blizzcon make sure you check out the official site at Blizzcon.com.

Blackrock Mountain

To very little surprise for most fans following Hearthstone, Blizzard announced the next single player adventure, Blackrock Mountain. If there’s one thing I love about Hearthstone it’s how soon new content is added to the game after it’s initially announced. In this case Blackrock Mountain will be available next month!

The best part about expansions for collectable card games is how they keep the game evolving and prevent it from becoming stale as the metagame begins to plateau. It seems like Blizzard is well-aware of this and has really clocked into the timing of when new content is welcome. A total of 31 new cards are on the way.

The Blackrock Mountain Adventure will play out very much like the previous adventure, Curse of Naxxramas. The adventure will have five wings each opening one week at a time beginning in April. Each wing will have a series of bosses that will unlock two copies of a new card upon being defeated. Completing an entire wing will unlock a new Legendary card. Note that these new cards can be drafted in Arena mode regardless of your progress in the new adventure - it’s not even necessary to purchase it to see the new cards in the Arena.

There will also be a return of the class challenges where players need to use a specific pre-made deck to defeat a boss. There is one challenge for each class and completing these will unlock one common and one rare card for that class.

Once you’ve cleared all five wings you’ll unlock the heroic version of the raid where the challenge is significantly increased. Completing the Heroic version will unlock a new card back for you to show off your skills with.

The adventure, like the previous, also includes a new board to play on that looks really cool.

Cards

As of right now we have only seen seven of the 31 cards that Blackrock Mountain will add to the game. Here are a few of them:

It looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more Dragon-type minions and cards that synergize with them in this mini expansion. I also really like the idea of cards having abilities that trigger based on what cards you’re holding in your hand. Not only does it add a layer of strategy to what cards to play and which to hold onto, it also gives some information to your opponent which is a really interesting mechanic.

Pricing

The pricing of the Blackrock Mountain adventure will also be nearly identical to Curse of Naxxramas except for the fact that the first wing will not be free. Each wing will cost $7.99 or 700 gold. All five wings can be purchased as a bundle for $24.99 as well. Additionally, there is a real money discount when you purchase additional wings with real money if you have already purchased one or more of them. This allows you to split the cost of the wings with real money and gold. Here’s the full breakdown of the pricing model:

You’ll notice there is also a pre-order incentive this time. An exclusive card back will be unlocked if you decide to pre-order the adventure. The only catch is you can’t pre-order with gold, only real money.

Mini Hearthstone

It was also briefly mentioned that Hearthstone for phones, iOS and Android, is coming along very well and is being played internally. It should be ready to ship in only “a few months” time. Hopefully this means we’ll have it around the May/June timeframe. I can’t wait to get my hands on this. Not only can I play more games but I can play face-to-face with more of my friends. I really think we’re just seeing the beginning of what Hearthstone can become.

That’s it for this week. What do you think about the new Hearthstone Adventure? Let us know in the comments below!