Don’t hold your breath, but Blizzard has promised that a beta version of its online collectible card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft isn’t far off.
“We hit an important milestone last week when we finished implementation of all features planned for the release of the beta,” Blizzard’s Jason Chayes said in a developer update.
“While we’re psyched to have wrapped up feature development, it doesn’t mean we’re done quite yet. Our overall focus has shifted onto fixing bugs and improving our infrastructure so that it can support a larger number of players.”
Chayes said the team still has a way to go on bug fixes before it can open a beta test, but not that far.
“We’re not days away from launching the beta, but we’re not months away either,” he said.
“At the Hearthstone announcement we committed to going into beta testing before the summer was over, and the team has been pulling out all the stops to make that happen.”
The beta will be focused on North America, with separate tests in Europe, Korea, and Taiwan with fully localised builds.
“These will follow the start of the North American beta test as closely as possible,” Chayes added.
Only a small number on invites will be issued at first, but Blizzard plans to open testing to greater numbers throughout the test, so it has encouraged users to download the client and await an invite.
The beta will focus on Mac and PC, but an iPad version is coming and cross-play has already been implemented.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a free-to-play card battler, so the beta will include an in-game store where players can use real money to make purchases. Since it’s likely that there will be hiccups and balancing which might put potential purchasers off during beta, Blizzard will give a golden version of Gelbin Mekkatorque to anyone who spends money during the test.
This item won’t be available to users after the test ends, although a regular Mekkatorque will be available through crafting.
Sign up for the Hearthstone beta here.