As so often happens, my mind ran off on a strange tangent and I started thinking about the expansion for Warcraft. No, now Warlords of Draenor, that is for WoW. I was thinking about that other part of the active Warcraft gaming franchise, Hearthstone.
Yup. It’s Big Nose again.
It is probably a little early to be talking about an expansion for a game that isn’t out of closed beta, but you can’t tell me that someone at Blizzard isn’t already planning things, even if they are just scribbles on a whiteboard somewhere. Traditional CCDs work through regular expansions so bringing out a Hearthstone: Draenor expansion is a natural progression. So what sort of things could we expect to see in a Hearthstone expansion?
The first thing that springs to my mind when discussing expansions is the option to add new things to the mix. This can introduce a big mess with existing balance (the old top dog suddenly becomes vulnerable to a cheap and simple move available to everyone) so don’t expect lots of changes, but there are so many options of things that can be done. For instance, cards could get mechanics to shuffle minions on the table (impacting adjacent abilities), swapping hands or drawing cards from the used pile (graveyard). There are so many options available I could carry on listing them (and stealing from Magic) all day long.
A new expansion brings new minions to play. There can be new beasts, such as Elekk, Clefthoof and Talbuk. That would be great news for hunters. Gronn and other Draenor specific creatures could be added as can be added to really add some new options. I’m imagining that Gronn have a battlecry which stuns all minions in play when they enter play and Gruul grows 2/2 each turn.
New Minion Races
Current minion races are beast, demon, dragon, murlock and pirate. They can make some interesting game-play changes (as anyone that has ever been on the end of a murlock rush can testify). A Draenor expansion could add more races. Elementals could come into play as a shaman specific minion race. An Orge race might have some interesting usage for both casters and heavy melee users. The Arakkoa bird people could offer interesting mobility (such as the minion shuffle and deck swapping mentioned above). We could even get some Sporelings in the game!
At the moment there is one hero for each class. An extra character for each class based on the Draenor events would help with game freshing and have some moderate game-play impact. Having Killrogg as a warrior, with the default ability buff all minions 1 Att for 1 Health. Maybe Valan could be a priest that gets to draw a card, or Maraad a paladin with an attack ability. Khadgar could summon his mana servant as a 1/1 minion with +1 to spells. Nothing huge, but it would add little but little changes that would add some more options to the builds
I would love to see all this included free. By that I mean free in the same way as the base game is free and everything can be purchased using gold won in-game. The current gold shop only has the option to buy decks, but for maybe 250g you could get the new characters. Now upon buying packs you get a choice between versions so you can select if you want to go for the old or the new cards. There could also be a new dust type for the crafting system just from disenchanting and creating Draenor cards (with some sort of option to transmute dust between types at a 50% reduction).
All together, there are some great posibilities for Hearthstone based on the back of a WoW expansion. I’m almost looking forward to seeing what they do with Hearthstone more than I am with WoW-proper!