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PC Gamer sat down with the Senior Game Designer and talked about The Witchwood and some general Hearthstone topic.
Starting with the recently announced The Witchwood, Dean "Iksar" Ayala confirmed that there are no more odd and even cards than the eight that have already been revealed. The team is also going "pretty light" on Start of the Game effects, like the ones represented by Genn Greymane and Baku the Mooneater.
The Witchwood will have no Charge minions, given that the new "Rush" keyword is being added to the game with this expansion. However, the team hasn't ruled out Charge completely for the future, although they will have to be extra careful with balancing Charge cards. They are also planning on printing more one-off hero cards like Hagatha, the upcoming Shaman hero. Lastly, we have a little hint about one of the four classes in the Monster Hunt: it's going to have Hunter traps, but will also use class from another class (probably the alternative Rogue hero, the Tracker).
Dean also talked about more general Hearthstone stuff. For example, Team 5 isn't considering card trading as an option at the moment. They also think that stat tracking isn't necessary for the majority of the player base; the game has minimal stat tracking at the moment and more of it will only burden the user interface with too much information. Finally, there was mention of the tournament mode: it's not going to have an Arena mode in the beginning, although Dean thinks it's an excellent idea. It will start with a ban feature and Iksar interestingly revealed that the team considered (not so seriously) the idea of adding bans to Ladder too.
You can read the entire interview on PC Gamer; other topics are also discussed, like Corridor Creeper, the cost of the game and more!
Two new Echo cards, as well as some of the history of The Witchwood, were revealed today in a video with game designer Peter Whalen.
Today's Hearthside Chat with game designer Peter Whalen revealed two new Echo cards as it discussed the design history of The Witchwood, which apparently started out as "Murder On The Gilnean Express". You can view the entire Hearthside Chat here, where Peter discusses some of the things that the design team tried out before settling on Echo:
Hearthside Chat Video
Warpath and Face Collector
Card Images courtesy of Hearthpwn.com
Warpath strikes me as a flexible tool for aggressive decks and an enabler for while damaged effects. Sleep with the Fishes will rotate from standard when Warpath becomes legal, but this card doesn't strike me as a direct replacement for it. Warpath doesn't do a great job of cleaning up midsize boards before they get out hand, and has a lot of overlap with Scourgelord Garrosh's Hero Power. However, it has much more utility with cards like Acolyte of Pain, and can be used on its own in the late game to handle most threats. It might not be as efficient as Defile, but I expect this one to see play.
Face Collector is the first truly dynamic Echo card we've seen, as its random Battlecry can put players in a position where they are forced to choose between playing additional copies of Face Collector or playing one of the random Legendary minions it just drew them. Rogue decks tend not to be slow or controlling in nature, which makes me a bit suspect as to how strong this card will actually be in practice. It doesn't buy you a lot of tempo when played on curve, but it has the ability to provide INSANE value if you can cast 3 times in a single turn. If there's a value-oriented Rogue deck to be had when the new set comes out, I expect Face Collector to be a part of it.
Murder on the Gilnean Express
As much as I love new card spoilers, my favorite part of today's video was when Peter Whalen discussed the design history of The Witchwood. He shared that the set was initially themed as a murder mystery titled "Murder on the Gilnean Express", and included a number of designs which played up this theme.
One ability they tried out was called "Investigate", where you built a minion's abilities up over a series of Discover effects. This design sounds fun and skill testing, but it may have proved to be a bit too time consuming in practice.
Another ability they tried out was called "Mystery", which is explained on card image above. I really like the design behind Mystery and hope to see it show up in a future set, even if only on a single card and not as a new keyword ability.
Ghostly cards were one of the precursors to Echo. They tried out several designs of Ghostly while the set was still murder mystery themed, and at one point Ghostly read as "discard this card at the end of your turn". As they moved away from the old theme and towards the new one, they eventually settled on Echo as the new keyword ability for a variety of reasons. It fit well with the set's new theme, and it provided players with interesting decisions to make throughout the game.
If you'd like to learn more about The Witchwood, check out our expansion hub right here!
We'll get to see 25 new cards in the first week of Witchwood spoilers.
The full Witchwood card reveal schedule was announced today, detailing the art, names, and times of the 55 cards which will be spoiled over the next two weeks.
The first week of Witchwood spoilers will brings us 25 cards. Some of the community members spoiling cards include Thijs, Eurogamer, Alliestraza, Ddahyoni, and Omnislash:
The Witchwood Week One Card Reveal Schedule
The second week of spoilers packs 30 cards, and includes spoilers from Kripp, Disguised Toast, IGN, Savjz, Trump, and Dog:
The Witchwood Week Two Card Reveal Schedule
Edit: I made a mistake in the initial post by improperly sourcing the names of the cards. For the full list of the 55 card names, please hop on over to Hearthpwn.com.
For two weeks, players will receive one card pack in addition to the normal reward for completing a Daily Quest.
There are no sweeter words than "free packs" to a Hearthstone fan, which makes today's announcement of the New Year of the Raven Party as sweet as it gets. Beginning on March 26th and ending on April 9th, each Daily Quest completed during the New Year of the Raven Party will reward one card pack in addition to the normal rewards. These packs can be from Journey to Un'Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne, Kobolds & Catacombs, or even The Witchwood (but they won't open-able until the set releases). That adds up to 14 free packs for daily Hearthstone players, and two additional packs to players who is wise enough to bank up a couple of Daily Quests coming into event.
Blizzard held a similar event last year leading up to the release of Journey to Un'Goro, which rewarded dust, gold, packs, and even a golden Volcanosaur on the final day of the event. Even though there are already 14 reasons to be excited about the New Year of the Raven party, there could be even more free rewards in store for us as we approach the release of The Witchwood.