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Hearthstone Recap: Frostwyrm Lair, BlizzCon Qualifiers, Watch and Learn with Kripparian

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The highlight of last week in Hearthstone was undoubtedly the release of the Frostwyrm Lair, the final wing of the Curse of Naxxramas. Also, several tournaments were held this week-end to qualify players for the BlizzCon qualifiers, including the much hyped HyperX Invitational. Finally, Blizzard featured streamer Kripparian in the last issue of their Watch and Learn with series.




Curse of Naxxramas: Frostwyrm Lair - Now Open!


The Curse of Naxxramas has finally been entirely released and we now have guides and videos for every boss and class challenge. We also remind you that we had an interview with Yong Woo, Senior Game Producer for Hearthstone, at GamesCom, and the few questions we asked him about the Curse of Naxxramas are reproduced below.

Blizzard Icon Curse of Naxxramas Questions from Yong Woo Interview

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Q. What would be the other things in your top priority list, besides Observer mode?

A. Haha. That is a very good follow-up question! We are not really prepared to announce anything else. One thing we will say is.. I mean you guys are hardcore into Hearthstone, so I do not need to explain what Naxxramas is, but next wing is our final wing opening, so maybe a natural question is "What's next?". So to us, it is really important to figure the right cadence of content. Like players like you guys have probably been playing since beta and I have been playing for years, we have a certain level of thirst for new content. But we need to remember that a majority of our players have been playing since this year, when Hearthstone came out officially. We are trying to figure out that balance. With that said, with Naxxramas, we learned a lot about this way of releasing content. We wanted Naxxramas to be kind of changing or pushing the enveloppe on what is possible in terms of releasing new content in collectible card games. Like what we did with Naxxramas would not have been possible in physical CCGs for instance, where wings staggered into weeks, single-player experience. But for our next expansion, we are interested in learning more about what it would mean to release a new set of packs. So, that is what is going to be next, but I cannot talk much about the details of what is in it or exactly when we are going to release it, because quite frankly it is going to really depend on what we learn from Naxx and how quickly we think the community is absorbing new content. But, that is next and one of the things we are working on.

Q. We had a couple questions about Naxx. The first is that we were puzzled by the fact that, because it is staggered, some classes do not get their cards until the end. Is that something you are happy with?

A. So, you know I play a Priest, and I have over 500 ranked wins as Priest, and I had to wait until this week to get my Dark Cultist, and I had been waiting forever. Everything we do with Hearthstone is a continuously learning experience and we like to think that we are continually designing Hearthstone together with the community. This is one of the feedbacks we have been getting and definitely something that we will be taking into account when we do our next adventure. So, I hear you and we keep getting this feedback, and we are going to absorb it, and think about it. And it is totally possible that we do something about it in the next adventure.

Q. The other Naxx question was that we saw a lot of new cool cards, but no new keyword. How come?

A. Keywords are an interesting topic, because if you think about it, there are already effects out there that are candidates for keywords. For instance, Spectral Knight and our 3/2 untargetable share the same effect, so potentially when we have enough of those new effects that share commonality out there, we might turn them into a keyword. I would argue that there are a lot of cool new effects right now that are not official a keyword. Even things like Loatheb, it is actually really interesting if you think about it, like you play a card and on next turn they have to pay more for spells. Not that we would do more of those, but we can see a world where we tried it out, we see how it affects the meta, and then maybe in the future we make more of those cards, and maybe one day they will become a keyword. I would argue that Naxx has a lot of interesting new mechanics, even if they are not officially a keyword.

You know, keywords are double-edged swords. On the one hand, it really condenses information. I tell you Deathrattle and you know what it is right away. I tell somebody off the street Deathrattle and he is going to be like "What are you... selling me a snake?". They will not know what I am talking about, so it is a balance we have to reach between condensing the information and making too hard a set of vocabulary for new players to understand. It is something we continue to work on.




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BlizzCon Qualifiers


A number of tournaments were held this week-end to qualify players for the BlizzCon qualifiers, both in Europe and North America. 5 new players qualified:There was a tournament announced on Battle.net and called Guf Pathway to BlizzCon, but I could find no trace of it.

Even though it was not announced on Battle.net, the HyperX Invitational tournament drew the most famous names and was watched by dozens of thousands of people on Twitch. Romanian player Rdu won the tournament. Sadly, Romanian nationals are not eligible to play in the BlizzCon qualifiers, so the HyperX Invitational brought no new qualified players.

As it currently stands, there are 100 qualified European players and 88 qualified North American players, which means that there are 30 slots left for the European Qualifier and 42 for the North American qualifier.



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Watch and Learn with Kripparian


This week, Blizzard chose to feature Canadian player/streamer Kripparian in their Watch and Learn with series. Kripparian came into prominence as one of the best Hunters during Wrath of the Lick King. He started making Youtube videos about his Hunter, and then moved on to more general World of Warcraft topics. He eventually branched out to Diablo 3, before covering Hearthstone almost exclusively when he received beta access. In Hearthstone, he specializes in the Arena, which is what he mostly streams.

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