BlizzCon is here again and with it came the announcement of the first full Hearthstone expansion, which is to be called Goblins vs Gnomes. You might be confused at this point asking yourself, “Wasn’t the Curse of Naxxramas the first Hearthstone expansion?” You can be excused for the confusion, since it really is a mislabeling of sorts. Anything that expands a game is technically and expansion, but Blizzard is calling expansions for Hearthstone two separate things expansions and adventures.
Regardless of semantics, Goblins vs Gnomes is set to turn Hearthstone upside-down with the number of new cards and options it will provide. Or since they are predominantly based on Goblin and Gnome technology and magic it may not be upside down, it may just be inside out (as you explode) or fluffy (as you turn into a sheep)!
Let’s take a look at the core details of the expansion and what it is set to bring to the game of Hearthstone.
Expanded Hearthstone Card Selection!
That’s right, this expansion will bring a lot more choices to the player. There will be over 120 new cards brought into the game. Considering how much the roughly 30 new cards that Curse of Naxxrammas brought with it shook up the meta, this could almost be a complete reset!
More Randomness in Hearthstone
Many of the new cards being brought into the game of Hearthstone with the Goblins vs Gnomes expansion are all about randomness. This really fits the overall theme of both races fluff, which is cool and thematic. It also allows Blizzard to create cards that are extremely powerful and cheap, due to the fact that they are not 100% guaranteed, you have to always worry what will happen, or set things up carefully to control the results.
Here are just a few of the cards revealed that show just how random things can get:
New Hearthstone Minion Type – Mech
Both Gnomes and Goblins in the World of Warcraft have an extreme fondness for all things mechanical. Consider the mechanical / clockwork Gnomes that we have seen wandering Azeroth or the mighty Shredders that the Goblins use to cut lumber (and enemies) down with. These are all brought into the game of Hearthstone as a new minion type called Mech.
Along with several new minions that fit this new type, several older cards are being transformed to the new type such as the ubiquitous Harvest Golem. So don’t be surprised to see that and other appropriate minions change type when the expansion launches.
In addition to the Mech type, there is a sub-type of mech as well. They are not identified any differently, however you can tell them by their deathrattle ability. These are the piloted mechs such as Piloted Shredder, Piloted Sky Golem, and more. These mechs have a deathrattle ability to summon a random minion when destroyed. The more powerful the mech the more powerful the minion that can be summoned.
You may be asking, why change minion type though and why even have a new type. We are used to seeing cards that buff certain types of minions, such as Hunter cards that can buff Beasts. In Goblins vs Gnomes there will be several cards that either buff Mech type minions or provide penalties or bonuses based on having them in play. Here are a few examples along with an example of a piloted mech:
New Hearthstone Buffs / Spells –Spare Parts
In addition to the 120+ new cards that Goblins vs Gnomes is set to bring us, there are several addition non-permanent cards that we will gain access too that do not count as cards in the set. That may sound confusing, but really what it means is cards that are granted to you in play but that you can not collect. This is very much like Ysera which is in Hearthstone already, she counts as a card in the Hearthstone basic set, but the 5 different cards that she can grant you do not.
These new buff / spell cards are called spare parts and provide various useful effects. I am torn on calling them simply buffs or calling them spells as they can provide either type of ability. These are granted directly to your hand through various methods. There are minions with Deathrattle and Battlecry abilities that grant them to your hand, but there may be other ways to gain them as well.
So far all of the spare parts revealed cost 1 mana and do similar things to other existing spells or buffs. Here are just a few examples:
Hearthstone new feature – Spectator Mode
One of the most requested features since Hearthstone launched was for a way to watch your friends play, or a way for tournament organizers to easily web-cast games. This request has been answered with the brand new spectator mode.
You will now be able to be a spectator in any game a friend is playing in (unless they mark it as invite only) by simply clicking on their name and selecting spectator mode. Once in spectator mode you will see what they are doing and can follow their mouse movements to potentially see their thought process in a game. You can also however look at things for yourself, checking out cards, history, and abilities as you choose.
Best of all for Tournament organizers, you can become a spectator of both players in a game at once through the same client. This will make announcing and commentating on games far simpler for the tournament scene.
Hearthstone Goblins vs Gnomes - Cost
One thing that players were worried about was how any Hearthstone expansion would be brought into the environment. Would the new packs be cash purchase only? Would there be a new currency that prevented you from buying card packs for gold or crafting cards from dust?
The answer is simply, there is no change. There is no new currency or crafting material. Everything stays the same. You will be able to purchase new card packs of the Goblins vs Gnomes expansion pack cards for the same cash or gold that you can purchase the existing expert packs for. You will even be able to craft any new card that you want from the Goblins vs Gnomes card set using your existing dust that you have collected.
Hearthstone Goblins vs Gnomes - Release Date
While no specific date has been announced, Blizzard has stated that the expansion will be available next month, meaning December 2014.