If you're kobold enough to catacome down into the depths of Hearthstone's latest 135 card expansion, you'll be pleased to hear that it's catacombing out on December 7th. The Kobolds & Catacombs expansion will bring nine new class legendary weapons and cards bearing a new ‘Recruit’ keyword, but that's kobold news. I cata wait to tell you about the new stuff we've learned since we last posted about it.
If you want to take a peek at all of the new cards and get down to some theorycrafting, Blizzard have put them all up on show.
You should bear in mind that Blizzard have a history of releasing their expansions a little later on the European servers, so don't expect the expansion to land until the early hours on Friday if you hang your hat in that part of the globe. Judging from the last bit of this interview with Blizzard card wranglers Peter Whalen and Ben Thompson, it's just possible we'll see a simultaneous release - but don't hold your breath.
Whalen and Thompson also discuss their plans for next year. They're aiming to release 3 expansions again, each with PvE missions rather than 'Adventures'. The main difference with those missions is that completing them rewards you with card packs rather than specific cards, which have often become necessary components of competitive decks. The devs say they want to avoid gating too many powerful cards behind single-player challenges that some players struggled to beat.
The PvE 'Dungeon Run' mode that's part of this upcombing expansion shows they're already moving towards that more accessible approach, with only a single exclusive card for each hero up for grabs. Here's how Blizzard described it:
“Players start with a novice deck from their class of choice and face a series of progressively stronger foes, randomly selected from a huge pool of unique bosses. As they progress, they’ll bolster their decks with cards looted from defeated bosses, including some immensely powerful treasures exclusive to Dungeon Runs. Heroes should plunder with caution, however, because losing a single battle will spell the end of their Dungeon Run.”
Your first 3 wins in the mode will also net you a card pack each, and you can get one of the new legendary weapon cards just by launching the game.
I'll probably boot it up to give Dungeon Run a whirl, though I doubt I'll be tempted back into ladder climbing in the PvP. Long ago, I played enough Hearthstone to get to the point where I knew every card in the game and had a decent shot at guessing what card my opponent was going to pull out next. That was 4 expansions ago though (including this one), so once it lands I'll have 537 new cards to get to grips with. Being destroyed by crazily powerful decks with all manner of cards and effects I've never seen before has an appeal of its own, but any shot I had of reaching legend rank is well and truly gone.