A new Hearthstone year is fast approaching, and with it come some big changes that are sure to shake things up on the Hearthstone ladder. Today, Blizzard released a short video that revealed its plans for the Year of the Dragon, along with an introduction to new Executive Producer, Chris Sigaty.
First up was the news of an evolving single-player experience, which promises to have “something bigger, deeper, and much more ambitious than anything we’ve ever done.”
The first solo adventure in the new Hearthstone year is set to launch a month after the first expansion. With it, a free first chapter and a new “mysterious” Mage character to master. Additional chapters of this solo adventure will also be available for purchase with both real world money and in-game coin. As with previous solo content, this can be purchased as an entire experience for $19.99 or for 700 gold per chapter.
Next was the news of further cards moving to the Hearthstone Hall of Fame. For those unfamiliar, the Hall of Fame refers to cards from the original Hearthstone set that never see rotation from the standard format. By adding these cards to the Hall of Fame, Blizzard removes them from Standard play forever, meaning they now only appear in the Wild format.
In total, nine cards are moving to the Hall of Fame – three from the original set and six from the Witchwood set, a full year earlier than normal:
Druid card Naturalize, Warlock’s Doomguard and Paladin’s Divine Favor are all on the move from the original set.
While Baku the Mooneater, Genn Greymane, Gloom Stag, Black Cat, Glitter Moth, and Murkspark Eel from the Witchwood set join them in the Hall of Fame.
The good news for lovers of odd and even decks is that full Arcane Dust value will be granted to players who own copies of any of these cards, meaning not only do you still get to use the cards in Wild, but you can replace them with crafted usable cards for Standard.
Additional improvements heading to Hearthstone in the Year of the Dragon include the re-rolling of Legendary quests, which is a feature that has been requested by the player base for quite some time. Players will finally be able to free up quest slots for the previously permanent Legendary quests.
A Random card back option will also be available, giving players the opportunity to randomly rotate card backs for each new game. A smarter deck builder that is aimed at improving the deck-building experience will also be added.
Hearthstone has had a difficult time of late, with many popular streamers and personalities within the community openly speaking out about the current stale state of the meta game. The popularity of Dota Auto Chess has also seen many players switch games on Twitch. It remains to be seen if the Year of the Dragon can entice these players back, or if these changes will prove to be too little too late.