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The Hearthstone subreddit interviewed Peter Whalen and Liv Breeden on the upcoming Rastakhan's Rumble expansion.
You can read the entire interview here.
Rastakhan's Rumble has been in development for almost a year, from January 2018. Spirits will be appearing in the Arena. We won't see much of old Keywords in Rastakhan's Rumble, but they are open to revisiting them (Hero and highlander cards, Inspire and C'Thun were mentioned). One of the design lessons Team 5 has learned is that they want more build-around cards that have cheap rarity (like the Spirits). With Rastakhan's Rumble, they wanted classes to feel like a team. Captain Hooktusk, the Rogue champion, is an original Hearthstone character. Pirates are mostly in Rogue in this expansion. They are still pretty aggressive, but there are some more expensive pirates in this set.
The reveal season for Rastakhan's Rumble starts with a Paladin card.
Every recent Hearthstone expansion has had its own series of funny blog posts and videos. Blizzard collaborated with Wronchi in The Boomsday Project and now they are back for Rastakhan's Rumble.
Hearthstone's heroes are waiting in line to get tickets to get into the Gurubashi Arena. Everyone has the gold for it, except from poor (literally) Uther. He does get a card reveal though and the story will be continued from what was teased in the end.
People have been comparing this card to Evasion and Ice Block. It certainly has it pros and cons. You can play it proactively, even at high health and you can combine it perfectly with a weapon swing or powerful healing spells. On the other hand, Time Out! requires more setting-up and better game knowledge of what cards your opponent might have on his/her hand. This card could potentially go into a Control Paladin deck, along with Shirvallah, the Tiger legendary Loa minion.
What do you think?
The game client is now ready for the release of Rastakhan's Rumble next month. The new Classic cards have also been patched into the game.
With the announcement of the Rastakhan's Rumble expansion during BlizzCon, the team was quick to patch it in the game in preparation for the December 4 release.
You can already pre-purchase the new expansion with two options: the full Bundle contains 50 packs, the Ready to Rumble! card back and the new Shaman skin, King Rastakhan.
The more affordable Challenger's Bundle includes 17 packs and the thematic card back.
Hearthstone is also celebrating reaching 100 million players. Log in between November 7-11 to receive 6 The Boomsday Project packs and repeatable Players Quests that you can complete with your friends.
This patch finally adds the new Classic cards for Mage, Rogue and Warlock.
The following card backs have been added to the game:
Ready to Rumble – Acquired from a Rastakhan’s Rumble pre-purchase bundle.
Frostwolf – Acquired from winning fives games in Ranked Play, December 2018.
Good Cheer – Acquired from the Twitch cheer promotion.
The Third War – Acquired from the Warcraft III: Reforged promotion.
Lastly, the patch includes improvements to Hearthstone's mobile app and various bug fixes, which you can read here.
Hearthstone has achieved a truly massively impressive feat, reaching 100 million players worldwide! That's a whole lot of turns being taken, ropes burned, minions summoned etc, so Blizzard are having a party to celebrate. Luckily for us, the party is for everyone! Starting Wednesday, November 7th and ending on the 10th, we're all getting 6 free Boomsday Project packs, as well as a potential 500 gold for playing friendly matches!
100 Million Users (source)
There really is always room for another: the Hearthstone Tavern has now welcomed over 100 Million players to date!
Let’s Celebrate Together!
We’re humbled and grateful that so many players have chosen to join us in the Hearthstone Tavern! As our way of saying thank you, we’re throwing a party!
Starting November 7 at 10:00 am PST through November 10, everyone who logs in will receive six free The Boomsday Project card packs. Then hang out and play with friends to earn up to 500 gold! Everyone* will receive the Celebrate the Players quest which rewards 100 gold when you play a friendly challenge. This celebratory quest is repeatable up to five times—you can even do them all in the same day!—for a total of 500 gold!
Thanks for joining us, and we look forward to sharing many more years of Hearthstone fun with you. See you in the Tavern!
*You’ll need to complete the introductory quests “First Blood” and “The Duelist” to unlock daily quests, (or “Ready for Action” if you’re a returning player). Be sure to make room in your quest log before November 7 so you don’t lose a quest you intended to complete. Just like Play a Friend!, don’t concede too early, or you may not receive credit for completing the quest. Unlike Play a Friend!, Celebrate the Players only provides rewards to players who have this quest in their own quest log.
Aleco is attending BlizzCon and he had a chance to sit down with Game Designer Dave Kosak and Senior FX Artist Hadidjah Chamberlin on Rastakhan's Rumble, the single player adventures and general Hearthstone stuff!
If you want to see more of our BlizzCon 2018 coverage, check out our BlizzCon News Hub.
Dave Kosak & Hadidjah Chamberlin
- Free single player adventures started with KFT, and I really think they started out on high note there. However, it seems like you guys have somehow managed to outdo yourself with the single player content each successive expansion . Larger focus on single player campaign or getting better?
Kosak: The missions team is relatively new. It has grown in numbers and gotten better. They experiment and redefine what single player is. There is a panel on single player missions on Saturday.
- When you look into these mission do you start their design process from a thematic perspective?
Kosak: Yeah, the main goal is to express the theme of the expansion. For example, Rastakhan's Rumble is about Nine epic teams that fight against each other. So we try to convey that fantasy in the missions.
- Seeing as HS is fundamentally played in a 2D space, what’s the secret to making successful graphics in effects that are visually compelling without distracting from the core gameplay experience of operating on a game board?
Chamberlin: Blizzard's main value is known to be gameplay-centric. The design process of these graphical effects is fantasy driven, they are there to make the gameplay more exciting and they are not too distracting. We want to show how cool and powerful a card is and make its idea come across clearly. We try to balance all of these, but mostly the graphics are centered around the mechanics.
We get to design these stuff quite late in the whole card creation process, meaning that what the card does is already fleshed out. The art team check with all the other teams like the sound and the design team.
Kosak: The board space is 2D, but everything else in Hearthstone is 3D. In Rastakhan's Rumble, you will be able to summon a powerful Loa, monsters will pop out the board or chomp on your opponent. The game feels like it is coming to life.
- Have you ever thought of rotating the camera angle of Hearthstone to give it a truly 3D feel?
Chamberlin: We want to maintain the board game fantasy of "looking down at the box". The fixed camera is there to keep this illusion.
- Let's talk about in-game rewards. Adventures have given packs, random legendaries, card backs, and even heroes. What is the process of assigning rewards in single player campaigns?
Kosak: We want to be careful with this. Our main motivation is that the most rewarding part of the game is for players to face against other players. We don't want to give something too good so people feel that they have to play single player. However, single player missions still need to be fun and offer a reward so there is an incentive to play them. It's something we are constantly talking about.
- We have cards that swap hands, cards that swap decks: what's next when it comes to crazy effects? Could we swap boards or take control of our enemy's turn?
Kosak: We try to be not too mean with Hearthstone, apart from Azari, the Devourer but it's something you can see coming. There isn't something too over the top crazy in Rastakhan's Rumble, apart from perhaps Hi'reek (revealed in the Hearthstone: What's Next panel). There are definitely many kinds of crazy effects, for example, Whizbang the Wonderful is a bonkers card.
In Rastakhan's Rumble, we have some minions with interesting effects, the Spirits and the Loa. Spirits are build-around cards, they go well with the Loa. The Loa are going to feel very legendary.
Chamberlin: When you blow up those combos between Spirits and Loa, you will feel pretty rad!
Both: This set is all about winning with style and flashy cards. The Overkill mechanic also emphasises this thematic.
- Do the Spirits and the Loa interact graphically too?
Chamberlin: They don't have special interactions with each other. We wanted to play up the team spirit across the entire set. So they use the same colour palette, textures, visual elements. They are two parts of the same whole. It was fun playing up these class and team identities in this set.
- I have noticed the timing difference between the release of an expansion and the release of the single player adventures. Is that so players focus on the multiplayer?
Kosak: That's exactly it. We released simultaneously in Kobolds & Catacombs and players felt that they couldn't decide on what to do. We decided to space it out with The Witchwood. In Rastakhan's Rumble, you will only have to wait a week since the Christmas holidays are near the release.
- There is one new Hero card coming in Rastakhan's Rumble. What are your plans for Hero cards given that the Death Knights from Knights of the Frozen Throne will be rotating out soon?
Kosak: Thematically, they made sense for KFT and they may come back again. We don't feel that every class needs to have a Hero card.
- When you think about all of the animations and the graphics done for cards, do you feel that there is any weird origin story that needs to be told? Or something really challenging?
Chamberlin: Azari, the Devourer was a pretty big sequence. Curious Glimmerroot was pretty crazy too to get right. For this set, Loa are cool and different, pretty elaborate to make. Their animations took probably a day or two for most of them. Thankfully, there were a lot of references from WoW to borrow from.
- For our last question, what's your favourite little detail or perhaps Easter egg in Hearthstone?
Kosak: Sulthraze, which was shown on the reveal announcement, was the first ever epic weapon that I got in World of Warcraft. It was huge to see it in Hearthstone.
Chamberlin: I am super fond of flavour texts, they crack me up!
Kosak: There is a lot of trash-talking between the Troll champions in Rastakhan's Rumble and it is exciting to see how people receive this.