The Witchwood expansion!
During Pax East this year, I was fortunate enough to be able to schedule a presentation/interview with Blizzard and if I was being more specific it was more of a group presentation with developer Ben Brode for the newest Heartstone expansion, The Witchwood.
At the start of the presentation, we got the basic of the expansion, like what was different, what new cards were being added, you know basic new expansion type stuff. At the same time, we were given a breakdown of what the Witchwood expansion was all about too. It’s monster VS monster and as you beat stronger boss monsters, you can get better cards.
There are four new classes brought into the game and they are bases on the groups/classes of the past. They decided to go with monsters to remind the players that Hagatha is the main villain of this expansion and this was a simplistic way of going about it. Another reason why Hagatha is the main villain of the set is because they brought a Shaman class into the game. Hagatha is the main Shaman of the set so it made sense. One of the more interesting gameplay mechanics is when cards stay in your hand, they transform into monster cards so you’ll have to wait until the right moment to play them.
It will be interesting to see what type of penalty you get if you wait too long to play a card and it becomes a monster. There are other gameplay mechanics like Echo, that allow you to play the card/effect as many times as you have manna, and Rush that allow you to attack minions right away and come back into the game. Rush minions being able to attack face was discussed but there would be no way to break it. The concept behind sets was also discussed and was revealed that sets should have an identity.
They don’t always need a legendary cycle for the set to be successful. In these terms one could also wonder what cards are released for each set and the narrative plays a big role in that. The vibe or the feel of the set or thought process going forward plays into the reveal cycle as well. If you haven’t played Heartstone before or don’t have too much experience, this is a good set to start with. The game is having things added to it and the developers want players to find things out on their own. Some people need more direction and some people allow their imaginations to run wild and TCGs allow for the creative juices to flow. It was interesting to hear that Rush was planned for a few sets before it was released. If an idea doesn’t fit into a certain set, it will be held back and it could be used for a later set.
It was very interesting to hear the thoughts on the Witcherwood expansion as well as seeing how the set changed and took ideas from previous expansions like using Rush. I’d like to thank Ben Brode for taking the time out to answer our questions and provide some great insights on the new Heartstone expansion!