During BlizzCon 2013, Blizzard’s CCO Rob Pardo took the stage to discuss Hearthstone, the developer’s strategy card battle game. The game will go into open-beta next month and the tablet version is playable at the show today.
Attendees will receive a special Hearthstone card – the Elite Tauren Chieftain. iPhone and Android versions of Hearthstone are in development and slated for release during the second half of 2014.
Key game modes and features include:
- Practice mode: Hone your abilities and test out new deck ideas against A.I. opponents of basic or expert skill levels, and unlock playable heroes in the process.
- Play mode: Duel other players to level up your heroes and complete quests along the way. To see how you stack up against the competition, enter Ranked mode, where you’ll increase your medal ranking as you duel others in a tiered ladder system. Whether you’re a grizzled veteran, a curious newcomer, or fall somewhere in between, Battle.net matchmaking will pair you up against a worthy opponent.
- The Arena: Put your skills to the test in this mode where deck-building is half the fun. Assemble a new deck by choosing from a selection of randomized cards provided for the match, and then duel other Arena participants for a chance to win rewards. Players can use gold or real money in order to gain entry into the Arena. After winning or losing a specific number of matches, you will unlock a chest of loot based on how well you did.
- Quests: Players can immerse themselves in new, ever-changing quests that will reward them with gold when completed. Gold can be used to purchase more card packs or gain entry into the Arena.
- Collection Manager: Browse your ever-expanding card collection, disenchant cards for raw materials to craft new ones, and build a variety of custom decks to suit your shifting strategies.
- Practice Mode: Play against A.I. opponents representing different classes to unlock new heroes and basic cards.
- Play Mode: Participate in traditional head-to-head matches to complete quests and earn gold for purchasing card packs.
- The Arena: Build a deck by selecting one card from each of a series of randomized card choices, and then play against other Arena participants. After winning or losing a specific number of matches, you will open a chest of loot based on how well you did.
- Crafting: Disenchant expert cards in your collection to receive Arcane Dust, and then use your collected Dust to craft other cards of your choosing. Basic cards cannot be disenchanted.
- Card Packs: Purchase card packs containing five cards each using your Battle.net Balance or a variety of supported payment methods. One of the cards will always be “rare” or greater. In some cases, you can get more than one rare, or even an epic or legendary card.
- Leveling: Participate in a duel against the AI or another player, and earn experience whether you win or lose. Once enough experience is earned, your hero will level up, potentially granting access to new cards for your collection. As you level, you’ll also unlock Golden versions of each class’s basic cards.
Screenshots and artwork are below. Looking for Hearthstone strategies? We’ve got you covered.