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NGA.178.com Interview with Hearthstone’s Executive Producer Hamilton Chu:

Earlier this week, a transcript from an interview wasposted on Chinese website nga.178.com. Hearthstone’s Executive Producer Hamilton Chu went into a whole bunch of detail about some interesting things – including new card backs, a potential expansion, and lots more stuff that could be great for and in Hearthstone’s future as a game!

We all knew that most likely there would be premium/freemium content – of course, Blizzard will want to make some money off of all this..but it’s fine as long as they don’t make a big pay leap from this game to StarCraft/Diablo themes if the game mechanic of any future card game for those games is mostly the same as Hearthstone.

The expansion pack is quoted to contain 100-200 new cards – some of you may worry about balance and metagame/tactics, but this isn’t a huge expansion compared to physical trading card games out there. It’ll test Blizzard skills (and ours) in testing and balance. Perhaps they’ll have another beta test of the expansion for balance…but it’s more than do-able.

All very exciting news for the future of the game!

List of future hopes and dreams below, along with our thoughts on what these could mean for the game – along with some of our plain old opinions 😉

-H

Game Features, Content, Expansion and Adventures!

  •  Paid and premium cost new content will be added to Hearthstone (no big surprise). Happily, this won’t be at the cost of game balance – we’re talking aesthetic/skin type changes
    • New Heroes (Varian”Lo’Gosh” Wrynn for example, instead of Garrosh Hellscream for the Warrior Hero/Deck)
    • New Card Backs (different from the ones rewarded for ranked season play, that were announced in November 13!)
    • New Game Boardswith the whole Warcraft universe available, there’ll be a lot of flexibility and collectability for those skin horders 😉
  • Non-Warcraft themed characters, games and elements will not be added to Hearthstoneleaves room for the exact same game to be re-skinned as StarCraft, Diablo in future ;( I hope they have some kind of cross-buy for packs for this…so your investment in packs in one game is mirrored somehow, if not fully in another. It would be a shame to have to rebuy boosters if the card game’s core mechanics/play was all similar but with just different skinned cards!
  • Achievements will be added to the game in the future (again, no big surprise, but cool)
  • Adventure modes will contain new quests, new game stages, and contain between 10 and 20 new cards (single player! nice to have different game modes)
    • The first Hearthstone adventure mode will be launched after the game releases on PC And iPad. (cannot wait for iPad release – hope this is nice and smooth!)
  • More rewards are planned for the ranked ladder. (whoop)
  • Hearthstone’s first planned expansion pack will contain around 100 to 200 new cards(that is A LOT of cards…but a fairly standard expansion side in some ways for trading card games. Let’s see how Blizzard deals with its first major balance!) 
  • Death Knights and Monks are not being currently worked on. (Again, feels obvious but they will do so in future I am sure. Adding more cards in an expansion right now, in a new game, is much less balancing and testing work than adding two whole new classes which will shake up the game’s core and balance a lot more!)

Features

  • The team is currently not working on a 2v2 mode. 1v1 needs to be solid first fair enough!
  • Observer mode is still on the list of things to do, but it is not being actively worked on. – good – great for e-sports and learning games. Replays would be amazing – make our job much easier!
  • The team is keeping an eye on the length of seasons, but are not considering adjusting the duration of them yet.

Reference:

A big thanks to Eurogamer and Joystiq for their pieces, which for transparency we have read before writing this one.

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