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Hearthstone: Heroes Of Warcraft

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Publisher: Blizzard
Developer: Blizzard
Release Date: 2014

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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'Hearthstone' Celebrates 100 Million Players Milestone With Free Card Packs And More

by Rainier on Nov. 5, 2018 @ 11:04 a.m. PST

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a free-to-play strategy card game where players build card decks centered around one of nine iconic Warcraft character classes and duel each other for fun, glory, and the chance to win awesome new cards.

Deceptively simple in design but epically engaging, Hearthstone will be instantly accessible to players regardless of their familiarity with Warcraft or collectible card games. Whether players prefer to wield magic or arms in battle, strike from the shadows or head on—or have never given any of that much thought—they’ll be able to jump right in, create a deck, and get in on the card-slinging action.

In addition to honing their skills in practice matches against the computer and taking on their buddies via their Battle.net friends list, players can challenge each other in two competitive game modes. “Play Mode” features traditional head-to-head battles, with players facing off for a chance to increase their medal ranking and earn card packs along the way. And for a different type of challenge, players can enter “The Forge,” where they start each match by building a deck from a new set of cards, and then use that deck to duel other Forge participants. Aside from winning new cards, players will be able to round out their collections by purchasing new card packs or disenchanting some of their existing cards to craft the ones they’re missing.

With hundreds of cards to choose from, featuring a wide range of colorful Warcraft spells, weapons, and characters, players will have limitless possibilities for developing and fine-tuning their deck-building strategies.

A little over five years ago,a few Blizzard Entertainment developers were toiling away on a small passion project: Hearthstone®, a free-to-play digital collectible card game at a time when such games were not front of mind for most. They based the game on the company’s Warcraft® universe and polished every aspect—from the flash of the animations to the bombastic voice lines of the heroes—and launched it to critical acclaim globally in 2014. Today Blizzard announced that Hearthstone has hit the 100-million-player mark.

“Reaching 100 million players is a huge milestone for Hearthstone, but what matters to us even more is the fact that so many people around the world have embraced the spirit of the game,” said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment. “Whether at events like BlizzCon® and Fireside Gatherings or just in tuning in to watch their favorite streamers, it’s been so inspiring to see millions of players and fans coming together, online and in real life, to participate in the Hearthstone community.”

Hearthstone features a deceptively simple format in which players build digital card decks and duel each other head-to-head or play through one of several different card-based Solo Adventures. As a result of its charm and accessibility—as well as the corresponding entertainment and education provided by numerous talented community content creators—Hearthstone has consistently been a leading game on media platforms like Twitch and YouTube.

As a card-based game, Hearthstone is unlike any of the other games regularly in the top ranks on those platforms. In addition to its highly accessible card-vs.-card gameplay and the colorful personality that comes through its vibrant audio and visual elements, a major difference is that all player-to-player communication takes place through pre-generated voice lines tailored for each of the game’s playable heroes—all conveying warmth, positivity, and good-natured sportsmanship. This helps create a welcoming setting for all players, from beginners to seasoned veterans, and despite being a skill-based competitive experience, offers a change of pace from other competitive games.

In addition, Blizzard recently overhauled the “new-player experience” for the game, putting a bigger buffer between beginners and veterans—making it even easier for anyone to jump in and play. One of the company’s core design principles has been, “Easy to learn, hard to master,” and Hearthstone is a shining example, with an introductory competitive experience that eases players into the fundamentals of the game and amply rewards them along the way.

To accentuate Hearthstone’s tavern vibe and encourage players to take the fun of the game out into the real world, Blizzard developed the global “Fireside Gathering” program, which enables “Innkeepers” to coordinate gaming get-togethers at their local restaurants, student centers, hobby shops, and actual taverns and pubs. Each month, an average of 2,655 Hearthstone Fireside Gatherings take place in cities around the world, from Boston to Beijing.

At these events, players hang out, enjoy the atmosphere and establishment, and battle each other on their mobile devices in a casual competition. Special prizes are often awarded, and friendships often develop. Another highlight is that Fireside Gatherings often feature pre-release parties for upcoming Hearthstone content expansions, giving attendees a first crack at playing the newest cards being added to the game. This year alone, more than 23,000 Fireside Gatherings have taken place, with many more scheduled in cities everywhere .

As a way of commemorating Hearthstone’s 100-million-player milestone and thanking players everywhere for bringing the game to life, Blizzard is holding a special in-game event from November 7 through 11. During the 100 Million Players Celebration event, players who log in to the game will receive a one-time reward of six free packs from the most recent expansion set, The Boomsday Project. In addition, players will be able to complete a series of “Celebrate the Players” event quests to earn up to 500 gold—which can be used to acquire card packs from any set in the game and participate in the Arena mode, a fun alternative form of competition in Hearthstone.


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