Hearthstone Expands Into Blackrock Mountain Next Week

It’s a terrible compulsion, the drive to catch ’em all. You might be cock of the walk in Hearthstone [official site] right now, but it’s soon to get a burst of new cards and what will you do then? I hope you’ve been saving your pennies (real or virtual) as Blizzard have announced the free-to-play collectible card game’s Blackrock Mountain expansion will launch next Thursday, on April 2nd.

It’ll bring five new wings of raiding inspired by the classic World of Warcraft zone, a volcano swarming with naughty dwarves, orcs, dragons, and fire elementals. What this means for you is single-player missions along with new challenges and 31 extra cards.

Like the Curse of Naxxramas add-on, Blackrock Mountain is split into five ‘wings’ that’ll open up over successive weeks. Here, Blizzard have been gradually revealing the one two three four five wings along with challenges and cards found within them.

(Technically Blizzard classify Blackrock Mountain as an ‘Adventure’ rather than an expansion, differentiating add-ons with new raids like this and Naxxramas (Adventures) from the cardsplosion of Goblins vs. Gnomes (Expansion). Just so you know. Okay.)

You’ll be able to buy access to wings with the virtual currency earned by playing – 700 gold each – or for $6.99 of real cash. Buying all five at once is $24.99, and neatly you can still get discounted bundle prices if you’ve unlocked any wings with gold.

Here’s a curiously sing-songy cinematic trailer for Blackrock Mountain:

33 Comments

  1. Funso Banjo says:

    Isn’t RPS all British? What’s with the dollar values Alice? Come on, English it up!

    • SirBryghtside says:

      The pricing’s going to be the same as Naxxramas’s, which means £17.49 for the whole thing or £4.99 per wing :) full list is here:

      link to images.eurogamer.net

      • Tinotoin says:

        I awoke this morning with the intention of pre-ordering on my iPad and was ‘shocked’ to see that it’s £18.99 to buy through convenience.

        I eventually tore myself from my chariot to find out it is a laziness tax.

        Can anyone confirm if the price is inflated on Android too?

        • Cockie says:

          No, on Android it’s the same as on PC. Something with Apple and IAP’s, not sure what though

  2. Fnord73 says:

    Damn, I wish they would set up a server for “Hearthstone Vanilla” so that those of us who dont pay to win could have a chance now and then.

    • Lanfranc says:

      You don’t need any of those cards to win. Some of the best cards in the game are even Basic.

      • Brinx says:

        I’m by no means an expert, but looking up competitive deck builds a while back, literally all of them seem to have included cards from Curse of Naxxramas.

        • Lanfranc says:

          Depends on what you want out of it, I suppose. If you want to play the ladder competitively, then you probably need Naxxramas to get anywhere. But not really as a casual player. You have access to a lot of good cards already from the start.

          • dontnormally says:

            Excellent cards > Great cards > Good cards

            You’re not wrong, you’re just… well, you’re basically wrong, sorry.

          • Lanfranc says:

            What am I wrong about? Are you saying it’s impossible to win games without Naxx cards? That’s obviously not true.

          • thepanzer says:

            It’s not that it’s impossible to win, it’s that the likelihood for winning continues to shrink as you play against better cards from later expansions. This is the reason I walked away from Hearthstone a few months back, the p2w aspect is pushing your success rate further and further down the ladder as time goes on. So you either shell out the cash to remain competitive or slide further down the ladder. I hit my breaking point running into decks that would have best in class and best meta legendaries plus good legendaries played consecutively for a good chunk of the match.

            For casual play it can be even worse, as a lot of “casual” players and matches are by people with phenom decks looking to ROFLstomp some noobs and show off their cards. Some of the matches where I got curbstomped by the most legendaries, back-to-back, was in casual play.

            HOTS is the only blizz game i’m on currently and really enjoy it. No pay to win non-sense. The deck inflation in hearthstone is just ridiculous.

    • Captain Joyless says:

      What in the world are you talking about? You get ~60 gold per day from quests and the wins required to accomplish quests. You don’t need to spend a single cent to get any cards from any adventure, whether Naxx or Blackrock Mountain.

      • Koozer says:

        While technically true, 700 gold for 5(ish?) cards is pants, compared to normal packs that are 100g for 5 random cards, especially when they aren’t all winners from Naxxrammus.

        • Koozer says:

          BLOODY EDIT BUTTON

          I don’t envy anyone starting to get into Hearthstone now. If I hadn’t started in beta, starting my collection when the pool was relatively small, I don’t think I would bother.

          • dontnormally says:

            Agreed. I love this game, but… how could a new player possibly stand a chance? With basic cards you are doomed to a 40% (max, really, probably much lower) win rate.

        • Lanfranc says:

          Naxx had about 30 cards, didn’t it? There were the five legendaries from completing wings, but you also got one from defeating each boss, plus the nine class challenges. Blackrock will probably be the same. So it’s pretty much the same value as the packs, only you know which cards you get.

        • Captain Joyless says:

          What does that have to do with the game being pay to win? Whether or not the adventure cards are the bestest ever or “pants” – you don’t have to pay money for them.

          • ChairmanYang says:

            Pretty much everyone realizes what “pay to win” really means. Being able to theoretically get every card through tens of thousands of hours of play or through being one of the top Arena players in the world are both fig leafs used to cover the true nature of Hearthstone.

            So yeah, technically Hearthstone isn’t pay to win. Neither is EA’s Dungeon Keeper abomination on mobile, or pretty much any abusive mobile F2P garbage. And admittedly, Hearthstone is far from being on that level. But in practical terms, yes, it’s pay-to-win.

        • thepanzer says:

          but that’s if you don’t mind grinding on a daily basis, and likely losing a great deal of those matches. The fun to pain ratio is way off. Instead of getting curbstomped for weeks to grind gold to get cards that were competitive 6 months ago, why not just play something else?

          • Captain Joyless says:

            You don’t have to grind on a daily basis. You can hold 3 quests at a time and you get 1 per day.

            All you have to do is play twice a week for about an hour or two each time. It can’t possibly be more than 5 hours per week.

          • malkav11 says:

            The quests I’ve mostly seen, after the introductory ones, ask you to win matches in order to complete them. If you’re getting stomped all over by decks that are vastly more powerful than yours because their owner paid real money (and plenty of it) into the system, how are you supposed to do that in any kind of reliable way?

          • Fnord73 says:

            This. ALso, the grinding becomes progressively more difficult since the game requires wins for gold, and wins are harde rthe more you fall behind the P2W curve. Also, the grind requires you to play in different classes, so even though Im getting a pretty good, say, Priest deck, at the moment Im required to win 5 games with a druid or Hunter in order to grind more. So there is basicaly no reward for playing with my best deck, I need to slog through every class.

  3. fauxC says:

    I put a lot of time into Hearthstone between launch and GVG, but since the obvious power creep of the expansions isn’t being addressed at all and ladder play continues to be dominated by the same tedious decks I’ve uninstalled it from my machine.

    I know Blizzard don’t care about this since they’re raking it in, but it really seems a shame. Oh well.

    • GenBanks says:

      What does power creep mean?

      • Captain Joyless says:

        Effectively that newer cards are better than older cards. Which is both inevitable generally and certainly true in this case.

        • Koozer says:

          What power creep?

          • Carra says:

            Dr Boom being in almost every set.

          • thepanzer says:

            Dr. Boom if I remember right from the most recent expansion. That kind of power creep…

            That single card lost me more matches…

          • thepanzer says:

            Lol, Carra. A pretty clear indication something needs to be nerfed is when 2 seperate users use the same card as the example of power creep.

  4. Immobile Piper says:

    I think it was the sticky minions that did it for me. Sure Senjin Shieldmaster is pretty good, and that 3/3 taunt bear was ok. But when Everyone I play whips out a sludge belcher or a harvest golem, ugh..

    But I’m not sure how bad the P2W is, ultimately. Sure Hearthstone is adverstised as F2P, but it really could just be seen as a free demo with Naxx/blackrock as something you can purchase if you want to play “for reals”. And really I’d be fine with that, but my bigger beef is the fact that the game requires so much grinding even if you put some money into it. All I wanted to do was play some Shaman, but most of the cool shaman cards are locked away in the random black hole of the card packs. Let me buy a full set of shaman cards for 5-10€ and I’d probably be all over that game. If I could P2W my way to a full shaman set, I’d have been happy. But when neither money nor time is guaranteed to get me that, why should I waste my time?

    But maybe CCG’s just aren’t my thing. Maybe not getting what you want is somewhat inherent to the genre, makes sense I suppose.

    • malkav11 says:

      It doesn’t have to be. In tabletop, there are games (some of them originally designed as CCGs) that have the gameplay of a CCG but sell cards in fixed sets so that there’s never any chance involved in assembling playsets of cards. Aka, the (FFG trademarked) Living Card Game model. The problem is, random boosters are a license to print money, so the only reason anyone uses a fixed distribution business model is to avoid direct competition with Magic: The Gathering. Directly competing with Magic is nearly impossible and many, many games have died trying. But the current digital CCG boom (if that’s what it is) is essentially what the mid-to-late 90s were for tabletop CCGs – everyone trying to get a piece of the pie. Maybe once things narrow down to a couple of dominant games like in the tabletop space we’ll start seeing digital LCGs. Maybe.

  5. Mitch.sp says:

    If someone want to play a much deeper F2P cardgame alternative to HeartStone, I can fervorous suggest Might and Magic Duel of Champions.

    With more that 2 years of life, great art, 2 Base Set, several expansions, Standard and Legacy game modes, every card in the game available to free players and with an economic model really generous for new players.

    Is based in the lore of Might and Magic saga, and gameplay is really interesting, with 6 distinctive factions, and actually with 10 heroes for each faction, offering lots of options for gameplay and deckbuilding.

    Using a referal link for other player give new accounts 6 starter decks, one for each faction, plus another free one.
    link to signup.duelofchampions.com

    and here is a redeem code still active for more free packs:
    TH4NK5-70K-D0C-F4CEB00K-L3G1ON

    To redeem them after creating your account you can go to the ‘SHOP’ in-game and click on the blue ‘REDEEM CODE’ button on the bottom.

  6. gbrading says:

    I love Hearthstone but I agree with many people who are saying that new players would find it difficult to get into now. I too have experienced the trouble with the good Dr. Boom and his prevalence on winning games. Yesterday I tried playing Warrior on Casual and lost 6 matches in a row, mostly because my opponents kept bringing out Legendary after Legendary. I feel sorry when I come across someone who is clearly new to the game and has mostly basic cards, because there is no means of sorting them to play other new players, and so have a more even playing field.

    I think Blizzard need to address two things; firstly making sure that the game retains balance and that non-viable cards are either downgraded or buffed and secondly, improving the ranking system so that there is greater incentive to rise from Rank 20 and a better ability for brand new players to play in a “safe” environment.