The lights are on
Blizzard has announced a new game at PAX East, an online collectable card game called Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. The game lets players assemble their own decks and battle it out in animated matches.
Hearthstone features a familiar World of Warcraft visual style, and series vets will undoubtedly recognize characters and spell effects. Even though the CCG genre doesn't necessarily lend itself to a dynamic presentation, Blizzard has done a nice job of animating backgrounds with details such as spinning watermills and floating paper lanterns.
Blizzard knows that these kinds of card games can be intimidating to newcomers, and the company is doing its best to engage them. Deck building is a key part of the genre, and newcomers can take advantage of a variety of tools to simplify the process. The AI can offer card suggestions, or even build entire decks for the player.
The first wave of the game has more than 300 cards to collect. Players can acquire new cards by either earning them through gameplay, crafting them, or by purchasing booster packs with real-world currency. The crafting system sounds particularly interesting. Players who find themselves with albums filled with duplicate cards or cards that don't fit their playing style can disenchant them into components to create new cards. As for those booster packs Blizzard hasn't solidified its payment structure yet, but it says that packs will contain five cards and will cost somewhere around a dollar.
The game is set for a 2013 release date on PC and Mac for sure, and an iOS game is on its way as well.
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