BlizzCon 2017 Hearthstone: What’s Next Panel Transcript

Dungeon Run

Dave: There is a secret to the lantern he wears on his head, and you might discover it if you run across him at the bottom of our dungeon. Hearthstone often has like a host that kind of welcomes you to the adventure, be it party-hard Medivh, and the put-upon Moroes, or the Lich King goading and taunting you forward.

The Candle King, the Kobold King kind of acts as our host this time around, and he’s got a tough job. He’s got these ragamuffin Kobolds, and then he’s got these adventurers, these monsters; but he’s got a plan, he’s going to make this situation work for him.

Let them come, and loot our realm.
Let them come, steel boots and helms.
Listen to my lamp, you unwashed gaggle!
We’ll take measures.
Steal their treasures.
And give the best to me – Togwaggle!

 

The Kobold King’s plan is going to come into fruition in the single-player Hearthstone mode we’ve created.

Since Knights of the Frozen Throne, Hearthstone always has a full set of cards as well as a free single-player mission content. This time around, we wanted to go big. We wanted to capture that fantasy of storming into a dungeon, and you kick down a door, and you don’t know what’s behind it. There’s going to be some terrible monster, you have to fight a terrible monster, and then you’re going to loot the monster; and you’re going to get more powerful so you can kick down another door, fight another monster, and delve deeper and deeper into the dungeon. We really wanted to capture that fantasy to that.

 

And we created a whole new single-player experience in Kobolds and Catacombs that we call: the Dungeon Run. Best of all, it’s playable here on the floor at BlizzCon. So if you are here at BlizzCon, come join us in the North Hall. It is like all the way to the other side of the convention, really cool huge Hearthstone area. We have a playable demo, a little subset of the dungeon that you can check out. For those of you at home, expansion comes out in December, you are going to love it, you are going to love it the most.

Here is the way it works: first you pick a class, all 9 classes are represented in the Dungeon Run, all of them have slightly different deck building options; and I should say, this is a completely self-contained thing.

You’re going to build a deck inside the dungeon. You don’t need any cards to play. It is free to play, come onboard. You pick a class (no matter what class you start with), you’re going to start with 15 health, and only 10 cards — like a relatively weak deck of only 10 cards.

 

Everything else you need, you’re going to have to find in the dungeon; and you do that by beating monsters. That’s step two: you will fight some different bosses.

Now, there’s 48 different encounters in the Dungeon Run, and every time you start a new Dungeon Run, the game deals out a deck of 8 encounters of increasing difficulty. Your job is to see if you can make your way through all 8.

 

If you beat a boss, then the cool stuff: then you get a loot — with lots of different loot options. We have what we call treasures, these are cards that are so powerful we can only put them in the dungeon. We would never print them in the collectible set. You’ll build your whole deck around these treasures (they are so powerful).

 

You will also loot cards from all the bosses that you defeat, cards from all across the history of Hearthstone, cards from this expansion or all the previous expansions, you’re going to try and build a deck that’s going to get you to the bottom of the dungeon where one of two things will happen: fortune and glory, or you get killed.

 

The latter is probably far more likely because the dungeon is a really scary place, it’s really really difficult. And here’s the thing: it’s all, or nothing. So if you’re defeated by a monster, that’s it, your deck is gone, your hero is gone, you are going to have to start again with 15 health and 10 cards.

So, let me tell you, when you’re deep in the dungeon, your pulse starts really racing because every mistake counts. So, that’s the overview. That’s how it works. You never know what you’ll find in the dungeon. So we’ll give you a little sample of things you might find starting with encounters.

 

Ben: Now, as Dave mentioned, there’s 48 possible bosses you can run into in a dungeon, that’s a lot of bosses, we don’t have time to cover those here today. We can’t wait for you to discover them yourselves, but let’s look at a subset of three of those right now.

The very first one is Battlecrier Jinzu. Now this is a particularly nasty troll. It’s all in its name, the battlecries played by either you or your opponent, in this case Battlecrier Jinzu play twice. Now that makes for a nasty fight, and it is going to take a little bit of thinking to get through that. So put those candles on your head and think through that.

The second one is Waxmancer Sturmy is particularly creepy, because she’s the aforementioned Kobold who’s found a way to bend the wax to her will and create (in her case) waxen constructs or idols that mimic other minions — either hers or yours. They come out in a 1/1 form onto the board at a time of her choosing. Of course, on her turn most likely.

 

Now, both of these characters are playable here on the floor today — if you’re over in the Hearthstone hall that Dave mentioned earlier. So try your wits against them and see how you do.

The third one isn’t even a character. The third one is a room of traps. Now, the room of traps is a rare encounter. It’s one that doesn’t show up as often, and you’ll be thankful for that; because it’s actually one of the hardest encounters you will do, and the QA department at Blizzard can actually attest to this. It has killed more of them than any of the others combined. Now, it is important here to keep your wits about you, because we are not going to tell you a thing about this room. It’s super creepy, super-secret, and we look forward to you guys diving into this one at the time of release.

 

Peter: So, we’ve got some terrible monsters, and your lowly level 1 deck isn’t going to cut it. So we need you to get better. We have talked a lot about what are the forms of progression that we want to give you.

We settled on three. First, you’re going to find passive upgrades. You’ll find two of these over the course of your run, and they will just make you better. You’re just better for the whole rest of the run. Maybe your minions are bigger, they have +1/+1. Maybe your opponent’s minions cost more mana, but whichever passive you choose, the rest of your run you’re just a more powerful adventurer.
That’s pretty cool.

 

So passives are cool, but the treasures are crazy. You’re going to find two of these on the course of your run as well, and they are insane. These are cards so horrifying, we could only let you play them against the AI. So take a look at the Gloves of Mugging. You steal 3 cards from your opponent’s hands. So they lose three, and you get three. It is pretty good. Even crazier, we have the Rod of Roasting. This just fires pyroblast until somebody dies.

 

Dave: Possibly my favorite text in the expansion.

Peter: It ends games pretty quickly. So, treasures are awesome, passives are great, but the main way that you’re going to customize your deck, and the main way that you can show that you deserve to conquer the Kobold Catacombs are through piles of loot.

Every single boss you beat has three piles of loot, each with three cards in them; and so you’ll be able to choose one of these at the end of every encounter to add to your deck. These each are pulled from synergistic themes. Things like Frost spells or unique cards that take advantage of Reno Jackson or Inkmaster Solia.

 

So, you get to make one of the choices after every single boss, so that gives you a huge amount of opportunity to customize your deck; and really make it feel like your own. These loot piles don’t respect any of the normal deck building rules, so if you ended up not getting the Rod of Roasting, and you want to mimic that behavior, you could take 10 Pyroblast as they are offered to you. It might take you a few tries to get there, but you can build the craziest decks you can possibly imagine using (as Dave mentioned) cards from all of Hearthstone’s history. So that’s pretty awesome, and the amount of customization you have here is basically unlimited.

Ben: So, I know what you are thinking: “Gosh, I wish somebody was here to provide a recap for us just so we know how many numbers have been thrown out. Well, wait no more. We’ve got 9 classes to pick from, 48 possible encounters of bosses in groups of 8 as they get put into an 8-card boss deck, and 40 treasures. How many options are we talking here? How many options?

Dave: I’m glad you asked, because we wanted to figure it out. With all those encounters, and all those treasures, and all those loot cards, and all the different classes we tried to figure out how many combinations are possible, how many different things could you see during a dungeon run?

 

So we assembled a team of crack Kobold mathematicians to do the math for us. They put their candles together, and over the course of many weeks, and many many snacks, the number they came up with was 1.4 Kobillion. Kobillion! Can you believe it?

 

Peter: That is amazing, how big is that?

Dave: We have no idea. It turns out Kobolds are terrible at math, this was a bad idea, it is a lot. It’s a whole bunch. That’s the thing that excites us most about the dungeon runs, we don’t have any idea how many combinations are possible. It is going to be different every time you play, and that’s what makes it so exciting.

 

We can’t wait for you guys to try it out next month, which brings us to our final chapter which is all about you.

 

Are you guys ready for Kobolds and Catacombs? Are you guys ready to delve into the Dungeon Run? Well, the Kobolds are ready for you.

Dig secret doors and ready pikes.
Dig hidden pits with sharpened spikes.
Hide tricks and traps and trials around.
They will persist.
None can resist.
A staircase… leading down.

That is Kobolds and Catacombs.

 

Peter: We are incredibly excited for this expansion. If you’re excited too, you can pre-order now on our website, or starting next week in the client. We showed off 14 cards today, and they are pretty cool. We’ll start showing off more cards at November 20th, so stay tuned.

 

Ben: Guys, we couldn’t be more happy to have spent the last 45 minutes with you here today. Thank you so much for taking time out of your obviously busy BlizzCon schedule with which to do it. We’d like to invite you over to the North Hall where many of us will be throughout the course of the convention, and spend some time delving into the Catacombs on your own. Until then, thank you so much. Have a wonderful rest of the convention.

Thank you BlizzCon!

BlizzCon 2017 Hearthstone: What's Next Panel Transcript
1. What is Kobolds and Catacombs?2. Legendary Weapons3. Spellstones4. Adventurers5. Monsters
6. Traps7. The Kobolds8. Dungeon Run

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