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Blizzard Announces New Expansion, Auto-Battler Mode for Hearthstone

Gaming article by Jack Waibel on Friday, November 1, 2019 - 19:50
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Hearthstone: Battlegrounds beta coming this month

At BlizzCon 2019 today, Blizzard made two major Hearthstone announcements. First, the company unveiled the card game's next expansion, Descent of Dragons. Second, Hearthstone is getting an auto-battler mode in the form of Hearthstone: Battlegrounds

Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons will feature 135 new cards and will conclude this year's story arc. Descent of Dragons' key mechanic seems to center around Galakrond. 

 

The League of E.V.I.L. plans to bring doom to Azeroth by resurrecting Galakrond—the father of all dragons—who’s playable in different forms in Hearthstone as a set of five new Hero cards. Available to the five “E.V.I.L.” classes—Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, and Warrior—Galakrond takes on a form appropriate to the corresponding class, each with a unique Battlecry and Hero Power. 

In addition to the Galakrond version of the five classes, the new expansion will feature two new keywords: Invoke and Sidequests. Minions and spells with Invoke will automatically trigger Galakrond's Hero Power, gradually upgrading that Power in the process. Sidequests, meanwhile, grant early-game goals and rewards for Heroic Druids, Hunters, Mages, and Paladins. 

The more surprising news, however, is that Blizzards seems to be hopping on the Auto Chess train in the form of Hearthstone: Battlegrounds. Blizzard referred to the new mode as "a raucous eight-player auto-battler featuring 24 unique Heroes, in which players will recruit minions, strategically position them, and watch as they battle for supremacy." Battlegrounds does not require you to build up a collection of cards like the base game does, however opening specific numbers of Hearthstone packs will grant special non-gameplay bonuses to Battlegrounds players. According to the press release,

 

At 10 packs, players unlock comprehensive stat-tracking in Hearthstone: Battlegrounds (slated for release following beta testing); at 20 they can choose from three different Heroes instead of two at the start of each match; and at 30, players unlock the ability to taunt or playfully communicate with their opponents using a visual emote system.

Descent of Dragons and the new Battlegrounds mode will both launch on December 10, 2019. Battlegrounds will also be playable in open beta starting on Tuesday, November 12. 

Stay tuned to TechRaptor for more BlizzCon 2019 coverage. 

 

About the Author

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Jack Waibel

Staff Writer

Jack Waibel is a writer, dungeon master, and lifelong gamer, with words appearing in EGM and TechRaptor. He’s tapped more land cards than modern science can measure and still brags about being TIME’s 2006 Person of the Year.