Blizzard's Hearthstone [official site] is off to the icy land of Northrend to duff up zombies in the free-to-play card game's next expansion, Knights of the Frozen Throne. It'll add Death Knight variants of the Hearthstone heroes, giving players powerful new abilities like stitching corpses together to make megamonsters. Neat! Eight new singleplayer missions are coming too. The expansion is due to launch in "early August."
Knights of the Frozen Throne will add 135 new cards to Hearthstone. These include a new card type, Hero Cards, which here will be nine cards transforming the regular Hearthstone heroes into Death Knight variants. Blizzard explain:
"Hero cards are an entirely new card type that are neither spell, minion, nor weapon. When played, each Death Knight hero card replaces your hero, casts a Battlecry, dons some armor, AND provides a new Hero Power. While each Death Knight hero is different, they all offer possibilities that can transform the way you play Hearthstone."
The first Hero Card revealed is Deathstalker Rexxar, who does 2 damage to enemy minions as his Battlecry, gives five armour, and changes a player's hero power to Build-a-Beast. Blizzard say:
"Build-a-Beast allows Deathstalker Rexxar to stitch together a horrifying new Zombeast by 'Discovering' pieces of two former animal friends. The new creation combines all the stats of both creatures he’s sewn together; mana cost, attack, health, AND card text. Then the beastly abomination is added to Deathstalker Rexxar’s hand to later be unleashed on a hapless foe."
That's pretty neat, that. I hope the other eight Death Knights are as exciting.
As for the new singleplayer bits, the eight missions will send players into Icecrown Citadel, leading up to a battle with the Lich King himself. They'll be free to play and completing 'em will give expansion card packs too.
Knights of the Frozen Throne will also formalise an ability seen on some Hearthstone cards before: dealing damage while healing your hero for the same. That's now named 'Lifesteal', and will pop up on more cards.
Early August it is. For now, this video has some Blizzmen gabbing about the expansion: