BlizzCon 2017 Hearthstone: What’s Next Panel Transcript

Welcome to the Hearthstone what’s next panel.

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…



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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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts


BlizzCon 2017 – Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs

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.


Hearthstone 2017 Year in Review Teases BlizzCon Reveal

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.


Hearthstone Update: Hallow’s End 2017

Hearthstone Patch 9.2 was deployed this morning, introducing Hallow’s End 2017 and several updates and bug fixes.

In this Hearthstone update we’re preparing the tavern for a Headless Horseman’s Hallow’s End party! We’ve also made some small but important changes to Hearthstone’s mechanics, added a new Hearthstone hero you can acquire via Fireside Gatherings, and fixed some bugs.



  • HA! HA! HAPPY HALLOW’S END! It’s the Headless Horseman’s favorite time of year, and he’s brought lots of tricks and threats to the tavern! From October 24 through November 6 enjoy a treat for login in each week, a tricky new tavern Brawl, and dual class Arenas*! Visit for details.

  • Added the following card backs:

    • Unholy – Acquired from achieving Rank 20 in Ranked Play, October 2017.

    • Gone Fishing – Acquired from achiving Rank 20 in Ranked Play, November 2017

  • Fireside Gatherings

  • New Warlock Hero: Nemsy Necrofizzle – Acquired from attending a Fireside Gathering Tavern and playing a Brawl. Find a Fireside Gathering near you at

  • Fireside Gatherings now have their own game menu.



  • Hearthstone Mechanics Update: We’ve changed some underlying rules to prevent Wild Pyromancer from triggering off of Mindgames, and Djinni of Zephyrs from triggering off Entomb. Please check out the Upcoming Mechanics Update blog for details!

  • Several Friends List options have been bundled into a sub-menu.

  • Spells that are canceled by Counterspell will now trigger any “Whenever you cast a spell” and “After you cast a spell” effects.

  • Lord Jaraxxus no longer triggers Repentance, Sacred Trial, and Snipe.

  • Unlicensed Apothecary now reads: “After you summon a minion, deal 5 damage to your hero.” It will no longer activate from any Evolve effects.

  • It is no longer possible to cancel Choose One cards before the choices appear, this should resolve issues where the Choose One effect could be canceled too easily.

  • Hearthstone’s engine has been updated to Unity version 5.6.

  • Animations for Mimic Pod, Chromaggus, Shifting Shade, Ghastly Conjurer, and Cutpurse should no longer have a long pause.

  • Mana-cost reductions on cards such as Dragon’s Breath, Solemn Vigil, Everyfin is Awesome, and Obsidian Shard will now apply after all other mana cost changes, such as the effects from cards like Naga Sea Witch.



  • Vicious Fledgling can no longer be drafted in the Arena.

  • The first two picks in an Arena draft are no longer more likely to include synergy-based cards.

  • As part of our ongoing efforts to improve Class balance in the Arena, small appearance rate adjustments have been made to a number of Arena cards.

  • Stay up to date on Arena rules on the official forums.


For a comprehensive list of bug fixes and other notes in this update, please visit

*NOTE: If you have an Arena run in progress when Hallow’s End begins on October 24, then it will be retired and you’ll receive the normal awards for the number of wins you achieved and a free Arena ticket. In the hours just before the beginning and conclusion of Hallow’s End on October 24 and November 6, it will temporarily be impossible to purchase a new Arena ticket.



Hearthstone Patch 9.1

Blizzard Entertainment deployed Hearthstone Patch 9.1 with some radical card balance changes:

  • Innervate: Gain 1 Mana Crystal this turn only. (Down from 2)

  • Fiery War Axe: Now costs 3 Mana (up from 2)

  • Hex: Now costs 4 Mana (up from 3)

  • Murloc Warleader: Your other Murlocs have +2 Attack (down from +2 Attack, +1 Health)

  • Spreading Plague: Now costs 6 Mana (up from 5)

Read the developer notes to learn more about the decision to make these changes.


The Lich King Responds to Comments

Blizzard Entertainment released a new Lich King video answering comments from the fans in his chilly way of saying things…

The Lich King thrives on the darkness of the human spirit, so he took time out of his very busy schedule to delve into comment sections from all over the internet to read what you, the players, have been saying about activities in the real world.

Yes, these are real comments! Yes, this is an actual Lich King! Enjoy!

LEARN MORE about Hearthstone and the Knights of the Frozen Throne:



Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Launched Today

Blizzard Entertainment officially launched Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne early today August 10th adding 135 new cards and the new mechanic


Collect 135 frosty new cards in newest expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s internationally acclaimed digital card game. Legendary Hero Cards transform Hearthstone’s fallen heroes into powerful Death Knights with game-changing new abilities. Overthrow the Lich King and claim the Frozen Throne in a series of free missions.


IRVINE, Calif. — August 10, 2017 — As the cold shroud of death falls upon the land of the living, Azeroth’s mortal inhabitants shiver with fear—Knights of the Frozen Throne™, the new expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s smash-hit digital card game Hearthstone®, has arrived. The Lich King—Lord of the Scourge, master of Icecrown Citadel, and wielder of the cursed runeblade Frostmourne—has come to conquer the tavern and those within it, promising power in the form of 135 frosty new cards.

Knights of the Frozen Throne takes players to Northrend, where they’ll meet an untimely demise, only to be raised by the Lich King and granted terrifying new powers from beyond the grave. Adventurers can harness this unholy might by collecting nine new legendary Hero Cards that, when played, transform the heroes of Hearthstone into fearsome Death Knights.

Those with the will to rise against the Lich King can embark on a series of challenging missions that Knights of the Frozen Throne offers to everyone—for free. Players who enter the icy halls of Icecrown Citadel and complete the prologue shall receive a random Legendary Death Knight Hero Card before battling through two wings guarded by iconic bosses like the pestilent Professor Putricide and Blood Queen Lana’thel . . . until only the Lich King stands between them and the Frozen Throne.

“The Lich King is one of our most iconic villains, and we’re excited to finally bring him—and his nine new Death Knights—to Hearthstone,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Whether they’re ascending the Frozen Throne or dueling with friends at Fireside Gatherings, we can’t wait to see how players wield these deadly new cards.”

Knights of the Frozen Throne is available now for Windows® and Mac® PCs; Windows, iOS, and Android™ tablets; and iOS and Android phones. Card packs can be purchased individually or in discounted bundles from the in-game Shop for gold or real-world currency at the same price as all other Hearthstone card packs. Players now have the chance to win Knights of the Frozen Throne card packs as quest rewards or prizes in the Arena, and can also craft cards from the expansion by using Arcane Dust collected from disenchanting unwanted cards. Players who log in by November 1 will receive three free Knights of the Frozen Throne card packs* to aid them as reinforcements arrive to storm Icecrown Citadel.

Catch a glimpse of what awaits in Knights of the Frozen Throne on YouTube.

Taste the Lich King’s power at

* 3 free Knights of the Frozen Throne packs are a one-time offer and available only for a limited time. Offer ends November 1.



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