Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Assault on Gnomeregan

With the announcement over the weekend that Blizzard would be releasing the first expansion to Hearthstone, titled: Goblins VS Gnomes people are all over the internet are asking more questions than we're likely to have answers until sometime in December when the thing is released (yeah, we don't even have a release date yet, just sometime in December).

One of the more interesting questions for me is how are they going to kick this thing off? Well, they're already previewing cards in a sort of Advent Calendar fashion. They released a flashy bunch of website material, and sent some postcard sized blueprints to various people. That's all well and good, but it's not really going to be "Okay, we've flipped the switch. From now on you can buy card packs with the new cards in them" is it?

Blizzard likes to make interactive introductions to new content, I can't see them giving this a pass here. I'm sure they'll do something, but until next month there's no real idea of what specifically it might be. Having thought about it though, I can tell you what I would do...

Assault on Gnomeregan is a short, single wing adventure designed to introduce the new minions and mechanics of the GvG expansion. Each boss rewards the player with a new, Neutral Minion to add to their collection. Complete the entire Dungeon and you will unlock Hard Mode and access to the new GvG packs from the store as well as Arena.

  • Viscuous Fallout - Reward: Common
  • Grubbis (Starts with Chomper on the board) - Reward: Common
  • Crowd Pummeler 9-60 - Reward: Rare
  • Electrocutioner 6000 - Reward: Epic
  • Mekgineer Thermaplugg - Reward: Mekgineer Thermaplugg
Defeat the bosses in Hard Mode and win a unique Card Back plus your first GvG Pack.

The whole thing is meant to be a primer for the new cards, more on par with the initial tutorial than say Naxxramas. That said, I could make the argument for removing the first two bosses. I could go either way on that. I think it would just depend on if it felt like it was making the introduction "too long", which is a concern. But not a big one when we're talking about so few AI bosses to deal with.

Rewards I could see being changed a number of ways too, but I do think there needs to be some sort of tangible rewards for fighting these bosses beyond "unlocking the new cards". And why would it be important to have something like this in the first place? Because it means that new players who already have trouble getting the cards they need from the basic set could stay behind and finish things out, while those with solid collections already could move forward.

I myself have a few cards I still want to collect, and so this will be my last month using the Expert Packs. I'm fine with that, but if someone just started say, last month? The idea of this set might be a little daunting, especially if they start thinking about how they won't be winning the packs they want from Arena for example. Giving players the ability to pull the trigger on the card switch is a fair bit of goodwill, and having an introductory section like this not only provides a nice diversion from the normal Que, Kill, Que routine. It also helps to familiarize players with some of the new cards and abilities they'll be facing as the new cards begin to filter out to the masses.

Thoughts are welcome, but please remember this is just a general how I'd do it. Not an endorsement of what I think will actually happen, or based on any sort of inside knowledge, etc. This is just me and my pipe dreams...

Khaas the Despoiler

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