Hearthstone: Whispers Of The Old Gods Announced

Set to release in “late April/early May”, Blizzard have announced Whispers of the Old Gods as the next Hearthstone [official site] expansion. The update is the first of 2016 and not only promises 134 new cards, but also brings with it some major format changes designed to make competitive play more accessible to newbies, among other things.

As Pip detailed last month, the arrival of the latest expansion means Hearthstone’s ranked mode will now be split into two: Standard and Wild. The latter is essentially what we have now – ranked play where every Hearthstone card, past and present, is playable – whereas the former only allows cards from sets introduced in the current and immediately previous calendar year to be used. As you might’ve guessed from the name, the new Standard mode is the one that’ll be used in official tournaments from hereon.

The new cards Whispers of the Old Gods adds will be themed around the four elder gods of the Warcraft universe – Yogg-Saron, Y’Shaarj, N’Zoth and C’Thun, the latter of which is the only one we’ve seen so far – many of which will be “corrupted” versions of existing faces. Think this episode of Red Dwarf and you’re somewhere on the right track. Whether in play, in your hand or in your deck, C’thun will be buffed by cultist cards – Beckoner of Evil and Twilight Elder – and will randomly dish out attacks to enemies across the board.

Here’s the typically Blizzard cinematic that launched alongside the announcement. Skip below if you want to know who the winner of the 2016 Hearthstone Americas Winter Championship was.

In other Hearthstone news, 15 year old William “Amnesiac” Barton was crowned champion at the 2016 Hearthstone Americas Winter Championship on Sunday evening – a victory that not only netted him a $25,000 grand prize, but also secured an invitation to the Global Finals at BlizzCon later this year.

More on the Whispers of the Old Gods announcement can be found over on the Hearthstone website.

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12 Comments

  1. Unsheep says:

    Some Cthulhu Mythos inspired stuff I see, we might see some really cool bosses and enemy units.

  2. lagiacrux says:

    looks fine. i havent played hearthstone since GvG and i dont really plan on coming back, but i like the thematic of the expension. the old gods were always one of my favorite lore part of wow.

    the only thing that surprises me is that the domain “oldgods.com” wasnt taken …

  3. Discosauce says:

    I like the theme and look forward to it, the only downside to all of the changes at the moment seems to be that they’re comparatively so far away. Meanwhile on the current ladder it is just the same few decks over and over again. Also, thanks for the unexpected Red Dwarf memory!

  4. Cooper says:

    I used a card opening pack simulator to check how much it would cost me to get a full set:
    link to carddust.com

    Turns out, despite playing ~2 games per day since release, getting many cards through arena (though never buying many) I’m still ~$1500 away from a full set (by nuying packs and using dust to complete my collection)

    Which was basically my cue to give the game up forever, as a yearly devaluation of any cards I gain means this number will only get bigger.

    • Gothnak says:

      Firstly, why do you need a full set? I’ve been playing since near the end of beta. I play all the Tavern Brawls, lots of Arena and recently been grinding a bit in the Brawls to unlock all the wings of Explorers. So far haven’t spent a penny. At the end of each month i go into the PvP League and get up to around Rank 12-13, and get a decent reward. Do i want to be rank 1 or Hero League? No, if i did, i’d expect to pay.

      • Sui42 says:

        Isn’t it really time consuming to buy the dungeons with gold rather than money? I’m just a casual player and I don’t want to buy the dungeons… which irritates me, as some of the cards are ‘essential’ (as in, really good).

        It’s so frustrating that dungeon cards can’t be crafted. It’s my major irk with the game – as it forces you to either grind, or put down money.

        • Gothnak says:

          Well, it’s 700 gold for a wing.

          In theory you can have 3 quests active at the same time which could give you around 200 gold for (usually) winning 6 matches. Finish those 6 matches, then come back in 3 days and do 3 more quests at once (maybe check in to swap any missions that aren’t compatible). Including the 10 gold bonus you get for 3 wins, will likely mean you have around 700 gold after 3 sets, meaning it takes 9 days on average, but only playing in 3 chunks and if you are good at the game, only 18 games in total. The rest of the time, just play whatever you want, Hearthstone or not.

          Also, the games where they give you a prebuilt deck in Tavern Brawl make it super easy to finish quests for any class as you don’t need any cards in it. The randomised one last week allows you to breeze through quests with a lucky draw.

      • Sui42 says:

        And I’m not even against paying SOME money (probably spent £5-10 on card packs etc)… but £20 for a bloody CARD GAME DUNGEON seems obscene. I can buy a full game for that!

      • ludde says:

        Do i want to be rank 1 or Hero League? No, if i did, i’d expect to pay.

        Sounds lovely.

    • Gothnak says:

      Also, to minimize grinding, only play every 3 days and try and do all your quests at once.

    • Zamn10210 says:

      Remember lots of cards, including many epics and legendaries, are garbage. I have a functionally full set – I can play any deck I like. But I’m missing loads of crap epics and legendaries that I would never use.

      For what it’s worth, I buy each adventure with real money (the ‘exchange rate’ for adventures is much worse than for packs) and buy one large card pack at the start of each expansion to get the ball rolling and to make some kind of contribution. So I’ve probably spent around £150 on the game over the last two years, I can’t imagine needing to spend any more than that unless you were in a serious hurry.

  5. Nim says:

    Actually the key to minimize grinding is to not play this game at all and do something else with your time. You only have so much time on this planet, why grind a card game for hours per day to gain access to virtual cards, worth pennies, you do not even get to actually own. They will never stop releasing cards, they will never after releasing cards try to balance them and their card prices will not change. To get all the cards (completionists) is to dedicate all your free time to the game and then watch them get retired in wild format eventually. Just a matter of time until they start reprinting cards such as spider tank in the new sets so that you have to get the same cards all over again.