Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.
Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.
I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)
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Blizzard Entertainment deployed Patch 11.0 in preparation for the launch of Hearthstone: The Witchwood this week. They have made some changes as well as once the expansion launches on April 12, The Year of the Raven kicks in.
PATCH 11.0 – PATCH NOTES
We’re on the cusp of the new Hearthstone Year! This Hearthstone update puts the final touches in place for the Year of the Raven and the launch of Hearthstone’s latest expansion, The Witchwood! We’re also adding Lunara the new Druid Hero, Daily Quest improvements, Friendly Challenge deck sharing, Arena updates, and new card backs. We’re also fixing some bugs.
I attended the PAX East 2018 Hearthstone press invitational event to interview game director Ben Brode where I asked questions about the new Hearthstone: The Witchwood expansion. He explained in detail how the Rush and Echo keywords work, the Genn Greymane and Baku the Mooneater game mechanics, and the Monster Hunt.
Blizzard Entertainment issued a press release to announce the Hearthstone: The Witchwood expansion this time focusing on the Worgen and the eerie creatures of the forests of Gilneas. The new expansion will introduce 135 cards, the new keyword mechanic: Echo, and a new single-player adventure named Monster Hunt.
Blizzard Entertainment sent out a newsletter to announce the new Hearthstone promo “Year of the Mammoth Card Bundle.”
The Hearthstone community had some amazing adventures during the Year of the Mammoth, and now is your chance to celebrate and save on card packs from Journey to Un’Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne, and Kobolds & Catacombs.
For a limited time, purchase the Mammoth Card Bundle for only $19.99 USD to get 10 packs from each expansion released during the Year of the Mammoth, totaling 30 card packs.
Now is the time to expand your deckbuilding options, rule the jungles of Un’Goro, conquer the frozen wastes of Icecrown, and claim awe-inspiring treasures from the ancient Catacombs.
BEGIN YOUR QUEST FOR PACKS
Complete Hearthstone daily Quests from now until 9:00 am PST on February 14 to enter the Quest for Packs sweepstakes.
The first Quest* you complete each day during the Quest for Packs grants you one entry for a chance to win up to 3,000 Hearthstone card packs, the Lich King’s helm, and more! Learn more and embark on your quest today!
*Entries limited to a maximum of fourteen (14) per Battle.net account
and one (1) entry per day during the contest period.
Blizzard Entertainment is giving away 3 free Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs Card Packs until February* 5, but this only works if you claim your Gift.
A few months ago, Blizzard introduced the new Gift system in your Blizzard Launcher. First, quit the game if it is currently live. All you have to do is click the gift box icon in your Blizzard Launcher (as seen below).
After clicking that button, a popup window shows you the following image. You have to click the “CLAIM” button at the bottom. (If you can’t see the CLAIM button, make sure to click the full size icon at the top-right corner, or simply scroll down until you can see it).
Then Select the Region from the dropdown button: Americas or Europe.
Now launch the Hearthstone game, and you will be able to see the three card packs in your Collections tab.
Blizzard Entertainment released recently the Hearthstone: Kobolds and Catacombs digital comics titled “Up Comes Down.” This story was written by Mark Evanier and illustrated by Manuel García and Sandra Molina. You can read the comic here.
Dave: Wow, it feels so real. It’s like I am actually at BlizzCon. Then what are we doing with these, what is with the glasses?
Ben: Guys, this is crazy. We can’t be more happy to be here with you today, in fact, everybody here has already gotten to see the amazing cinematic that Ben Brode announced with our newest expansion, is that right? We were all here to see it.
Now, we on Hearthstone pride ourselves on avoiding the cheap parlor trick, the random marketing to do. In fact, we like to keep things fairly simple, straightforward; but when we do it, we go all out, and with that in mind, we’d like to invite you to pull out your own candle. Place it upon your heads, and let us take another look at that amazing cinematic. This time in living Kobold vision.
Dave: There you have it. That is the absolute and latest, and state-of-the-art Kobold VR. Props to our cinematics team for putting that together.
So, who wants to hear a story? I have a story for you. You guys want to hear a story? Ten thousand years ago, something happened. Now, we don’t know what happened because kobolds don’t write anything down, but we do know that it was around this time the kobolds started to dig. When all the world is crafting war, when shore to shore the warships moor, when sun and skies whole dread, listen up, my son. Pack it up and run. Put this candle on your head. When those seas of blood start churnin’, when the Legion comes a-burnin’, when frets and threats above abound, just grab your pick and light your wick, and dig, dig, dig, deep down. This is Kobolds and Catacombs.
My name is Dave Kosak. I am the lead mission designer for Hearthstone.
Ben: My name is Ben Thompson, I am the art director.
Peter: I am Peter Whalen. I am one of the designers in the Hearthstone team.
Dave: Over the next 40 minutes or so, we’re going to tell you all about what’s upcoming next in Hearthstone. So, Peter kick us off, what is happening in Hearthstone? What is this expansion all about?
What is Kobolds and Catacombs?
Peter: This is Kobolds and Catacombs. This is our love letter to classic dungeon crawling: gather your party and venture forth into a deep dungeon filled with horrible monsters, terrifying traps, and phenomenal treasure.
So, how did we get here? For every expansion a bunch of us get together in a room, and we talk about what’s next. We have just done Un’Goro, with its enormous dinosaurs. We’ve done Knights of the Frozen Throne with the Lich King, and his horrible undead minions. so we wanted to do something a little different. Something a little more whimsical, a little more classic Warcraft; and so someone pitched: “What if we did the treasure set?” Hmm, Treasure set! That sounds pretty cool, and so we were onboard. We were going to make the treasure set, and that is how Blingtron’s Lootapalooza was born.
That is right, Blingtron’s Lootapalooza. We were going to explore the history of Azeroth’s most enigmatic treasure Golem.
We even talked to some people in the World of Warcraft team, and put the art from Blingtron’s card image in our Year of the Mammoth preview. But the more we explored Blingtron’s Lootapalooza, the less we liked Blingtron as the heart of the set. We really wanted to do that classic dungeon dive, that feeling of going deep underground and unearthing amazing treasures. That’s how we hit on the Kobold.
These are the little rat creatures from World of Warcraft. They’ve got candles on their head that they absolutely love, they’ve got treasure that they mine in the earth, and so they were perfect for us. They were going to build us the earth dungeon, the dungeon that contained all other dungeons inside of it, they would build us the catacombs.
Ben: Now the catacombs offer a wonderful opportunity for the loot-minded explorer. There are tons of tunnels and darkened corners in which to get in a lot of trouble, and you and your party are going to get into a lot of trouble. Make no mistake. Now, it’s also no secret that the Kobolds, not the sharpest tools in the shed; and as a result, the path is rarely straight ahead, and almost never well-constructed. These are the catacombs, and it was super important to the art team to start to figure out just what these looked like, not just for our design team, but for you the players.
So, we took it upon ourselves to figure out the mind of the Kobold. What does it look like when you’re in that small little rat-like mind? Well, you’re probably very single-minded, you’re probably very direct in your thought. You’re probably not thinking too clearly and too straight when you’re building these things; and as a result, well the result is what you end up seeing.
There’s a lot of loot, and a lot of treasure, and a lot of places to store it. You hide it in these darkened corners and you quickly have to find other ways that are both escape routes and entrance routes. You get things like Gorges with rope bridges strung quickly across that you have to cross as soon as possible before it collapses beneath you. Open up a lava tube in the wall? Well, let’s board that right up and get the heck out of dodge.
Now, ultimately, whether it be constructs hastily constructed in some homage to some ancient Kobold god, or some wondrous beast that’s been enslaved and or maybe hired to guard the treasure from prying eyes, they should always and always point to this feeling of Kobolds throughout every part of the dungeon, and you should definitely, if you don’t see them, smell them and know that they’ve been there.
And that brings us to the new board. The new board is presented to you with the classic Kobold-looking style and aesthetic (such as it is), and as a result there’s tons of candles, make no mistake; but there’s also beautiful magical items, wonderful piles of treasure hoarded away; and of course, for those people who run into players taking slightly too long on their turn before they rope out, tons of new clickables to explore, but do I need to remind you: “Don’t touch the candles.”
Dave: One of our artists, she put it best. She said if this is a love letter to the classic dungeon crawl, it’s a love letter written by candlelight. The very last, we left our Kobolds as they were digging. They have been digging for thousands of years, which brings us to chapter two, wherein they find stuff: “So, dig, dig! Dig in with claws and paws, and dig! But always trust your shnoz. Your nose knows to behold: The smells you sniff, delightful whiffs! Of silver, jewels and gold…”
Ben Brode announced the next expansion Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs. The expansion adds 9 Legendary weapons including the Dragon Soul which summons a 5/5 dragon per each spell cast; and a new single-player experience never done before named the Dungeon Run. You have to defeat 8 random bosses, and you level up. It’s free to play.
Ben Brode (game director) and Ben Thompson (art director) featured the 2017 Year in Review video, highlighting the Hearthstone content released over the past 12 months. Toward the end of the video, both developers teased there is going to be a reveal at BlizzCon. Will it be an expansion? Will it be something else altogether? Get ahold of a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket and watch the panel to find out.