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handclaw 02-02-2016 10:11 AM

Hearthstone: A New Way to Play
Exciting changes are coming to the Tavern! We're proud to announce that we're introducing game formats to Hearthstone! Whether you're just getting into Hearthstone or you're a seasoned veteran, the new Standard format will help keep Hearthstone fresh, exciting, and accessible for years to come, while the Wild format will preserve everything you already know and love about Hearthstone!

The New Standard
Standard is a new format in Play mode that allows players to go head-to-head using only the most recently released Hearthstone cards. You'll play Standard using a deck built solely from a pool of cards that were released in the current and previous calendar year, along with a core foundation of the Basic and Classic card sets (which will always be valid for Standard). You'll be matched against other players who are also using Standard decks.

New description, same great taste!

Standard promises a fresher Hearthstone experience!
  • Standard will help make for a more dynamic and balanced metagame.
  • A select set of cards makes each new card have more impact!
  • The developers will have more freedom to design exciting new cards.
  • It lets newer players jump in faster without having to collect as many cards.

Standard is only available as a format in Friendly Challenges, Ranked, and Casual play, so it won't affect Arena, Solo play, or Adventures.

Wild Will Be Wild
Wild is our new name for the Hearthstone you already know, because it'll be the format where anything can happen. While Standard puts a bright spotlight on recently released cards and brings a more balanced experience, when you queue up for Wild, you'll be cozying up with the crazy fun of Hearthstone you're already familiar with. Of course, as more and more cards are added over time, the wilder and more unpredictable Wild will be!

In terms of gameplay, nothing is changing for Wild: you'll be able to finish quests, earn gold, rank up on the ladder, get card backs, earn Legend rank, and use all the cards you've already collected to build a Wild deck, just like you always have. When you queue up for Ranked or Casual play with a Wild deck, you'll always be matched with other players who are also using Wild decks.

Ranking Up
When Standard is introduced you'll be able to choose between Standard and Wild for Ranked play, and you'll have a separate rank for each format, so you can earn ranks and hit Legend in both Wild and Standard if you wish! You'll only collect ranked rewards at the end of the season based on the highest rank you attained in one format or the other, but not both, so feel free to play whichever you like best!

Time for Reflection
The arrival of Standard format will also be an excellent time for us to take stock of Hearthstone. While normally we're quite conservative about making balance changes to Hearthstone cards (and we'll continue to be in the future), we're planning to take the new Hearthstone year as a golden opportunity to re-evaluate a number of cards in the Basic and Classic card sets, including class cards, and make some long-considered adjustments.

More information on which cards are changing and why will be available as we draw nearer to the arrival of Standard format.

More Deck Slots? More Deck Slots!
Yes! More deck slots! Prior to the arrival of Standard we've got a buff planned for your Collection Manager! If you've unlocked all nine heroes, you'll also unlock nine more deck slots, raising your total number of deck slots to eighteen.

Release the Kraken!
Standard format will arrive this spring! When the momentous moment arrives, you'll be able to build Standard decks using the following sets:
  • Basic
  • Classic
  • Blackrock Mountain
  • The Grand Tournament
  • The League of Explorers
  • The Spring 2016 Expansion

Curse of Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes will not be part of Standard. When we release the first new Expansion each year, every set that wasn?t released in the same year or the year prior will cycle out and no longer be part of the Standard format.

That's also when the new Standard year begins. Each new Hearthstone year is symbolized by one of the zodiac constellations twinkling in Azeroth's night sky. The moment when a new constellation comes into alignment heralds the start of the year and a time of jubilation and raucous revelry wherever Hearthstone is played!

This inaugural Standard year will be known as the Year of the Kraken, so get ready to make some waves!

Gone Wild
Adventures and Expansions that are not part of the Standard format will no longer be available for purchase from the Shop this year, that includes Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes. If you want any cards you missed out on for Wild play or just to fill out your collection, you'll be able to craft them using Arcane Dust even cards from Adventures that were previously un-craftable. Speaking of Adventures, if you've purchased at least the first wing of an Adventure before it cycled out, you'll still be able to finish acquiring and playing the remaining wings.

We're Pumped!
We've worked hard to pave the way for Standard, and we're really excited about all the great things this new format will bring to Hearthstone: fresher gameplay, more impactful expansions, and since Standard will become the official format of the Hearthstone Championship Tour an even more exciting competitive scene. All in all, we believe that Standard will end up being the most fun way to enjoy Hearthstone.

We hope you're excited too, and we can't wait to hear what you think.

We're sure you have questions, so read the FAQ, and if you've still got questions, we'll be happy to help!

Mutterscrawl 02-02-2016 10:28 AM

This their attempt at offsetting the "paytowin" nature of things?

Arashi 02-02-2016 10:28 AM

So this is their way of trying to even out the playing field as a result of cancerous meta decks ruining opportunities for other players who dont have vaults of cash to get gold.

Doesn't change the fact that gold gain is still awful so there's no reason to really play hearthstone.

Thanks for something, hand of the claw.

Noitora 02-02-2016 10:41 AM

I really don't like removing previous expansions and adventures unless you want to craft or mass buy before its removal.

Nazja 02-02-2016 10:44 AM


Originally Posted by Noitora (Post 1423419)
I really don't like removing previous expansions and adventures unless you want to craft or mass buy before its removal.

You can still craft the cards, so it's not that bad.

They just need to make place for new sets and adventures.

Noitora 02-02-2016 10:59 AM


Originally Posted by Nazja (Post 1423421)
You can still craft the cards, so it's not that bad.

They just need to make place for new sets and adventures.

Will you stop trying to fucking correct me. I know you can still craft them but you shouldn't have to for adventures. Just lower the price of them. They should be trying to speed players up to new content not brush old content to the side.

Nazja 02-02-2016 11:03 AM


Originally Posted by Noitora (Post 1423429)
Will you stop trying to fucking correct me. I know you can still craft them but you shouldn't have to for adventures. Just lower the price of them. They should be trying to speed players up to new content not brush old content to the side.

"unless you want to craft [...] before its removal" made it sound like you believed those cards would no longer be craftable, but after rereading, I noticed that "before its removal" only applied to "mass buy". Sorry.

Noitora 02-02-2016 11:07 AM

God damn it Nazja

C9H20 02-02-2016 11:13 AM

I don't like that they are splitting the player base, but I can see how this will help bridge the gap and I am sure Blizzard has thought long and hard before making this decision so fine.

But some problems:

-I don't see how the game would be more dynamic or balanced by this change. In fact I feel it can only become less balanced when we have less cards.

-Not letting people buy adventures or packs of past expansions is anything but helpful to new players. If they want to enjoy the full scope of Hearthstone they won't be able to simply buy what they need but spend precious dust for each and every card. Very bad change.

Though besides somewhat helping new people I see some pluses too:

-More deckslots is deffinitely nice but I don't see why only 9 more, why not 18 more or 50 more? Does it matter how many more, I doubt it takes up much space on servers either way? Still it will help, I am absolutely swamped by excess deck (they take up a third of my desktop now).

-The changes to old cards en masse are interesting and possibly quite good. I hope they buff some of the basic cards given how they will be one of the few enduring things in this new Hearthstone.
Also gonna stockpile some of these cards for sure for that sweet, sweet DE bonus.

All in all not sure how to feel about this, I am somewhat weary of this but lets give it a shot.

Noitora 02-02-2016 11:16 AM

It doesn't matter how many slots they add, players will still find a way to cap it. That's why Blizzard was hesitant in doing so.

Shadowsong 02-02-2016 11:30 AM

Spring 2016 expansion hype.

I do like that they are trying to do something about helping new players into the game and how the number of cards will pile up. But gonna wait and see how this goes.

I don't really like that they are removing old adventures year by year. New players in the year of the kraken will never get to experience the fun with Kel'thuzad first hand. Nor do I like not being able to buy GvG packs myself. I'd have liked to save my dust for the new expac but I may have to buy some cards I hadn't gotten yet.

Noitora 02-02-2016 11:44 AM

Kinda think they're trying to funnel people into just paying for adventures with money.

Malygos 02-02-2016 01:10 PM

rolling in that dust
So they added Standard and Eternal formats; thats been around in MTG for awhile. Blizzard has my thanks for giving me 400x dust. My ex, nah, will not be missed.

C9H20 02-02-2016 02:17 PM

Wild is NOT equal to Standard Format
I've revised my opinion. This change is an unmitigated disaster, for many reasons. Here is a post of mine from the official forums where most everyone shares my opinion and a full on riot is going on.


Blizzard have somewhat disingenuously forgot to mention in their main announcement that getting a high standing in Wild will not award points for Blizzcon, so most streamers and best players will quit playing it. Also Blizzard forgot to mention that getting ridiculously hard ranks like no.1 legend in Wild will probably not be featured anymore. Also the rank your friends will see will always be the Standard rank even if your Wild rank is by far higher. It's clearly a mode that Blizzard will not give equal respect as Standard Format but they have purposefully tried to convince us of the opposite in their press release.

It all pushes people into playing their new format, and eventually new people and competitive people will leaving Wild pretty desolate and more importantly irrelevant. All of us who spent money on old cards are now out of luck it seems.

What's worse this will needlessly split the players and cause arguments over which mode is really important. And Hearthstone was fun because of the many crazy interactions between varied cards, now the main focus will be on a stunted mode and Wild will eventually be left an imbalanced wreck because Blizzard will only balance around Standard Format, the only real format in their eyes.
This is terrible and when coupled with other terrible changes like new players being unable to play out awesome old adventures and old players having huge difficulty completing their collections (because crafting everything with dust makes it cost almost 4x as much)

It's just awful and this horrible direction for HS must be reversed before it is too late, keep repeating that until Blizzard hears us and for once listens to the players.
I doubt we will be able to change Blizzard's mind at this point but hopefully we at least get some concessions out of them. It's a huge riot over there so I am mildly hopeful that we will make it if the displeasure endures and damages Blizz's bottom line, the only line they care about.

I mean who wants to invest in a digital good that can not only be gone tomorrow, is almost impossible to sell or recover value from and on top of it all now your investment will be almost worthless in a years time, every time.

Shadowsong 02-02-2016 04:08 PM

Minions that discover/summon other minions seem to be affected by this too. Museum Curator will have a lot less options with Naxx gone.

Some synergy like Puddlestomper/SlitifnSpiritwalker gone. Dragon decks will get hit pretty hard in 2017.

Noitora 02-02-2016 04:14 PM

Rip dragadin deck. You've served me well.

Arashi 02-02-2016 04:15 PM

Hearthstone already had splits in the player base just through pay walls.

Shadowsong 02-04-2016 02:55 PM

So since the yearly constellations happen with the release of a new expac, think they may be tied to the expac itself? Like would Kraken hint at anything or is it just random.

Also some weird tiny blue fairy thing in the artwork.

C9H20 02-04-2016 04:29 PM

Hmm good point, now that mechs have been decomissioned a new tribe could pop up, most likely naga with a sideserving of murlocs.

Also I'd be cool if the Kraken constellation would shine in the sky of WoW for the duration of the event in HS. Give some BS explanation how the mages of Dalaran have light up the sky to make tracking years easier.

BaronGrackle 02-19-2016 02:13 PM

I don't see the point in making old Adventures unavailable. Surely the single-player boss battles had no effect on the multiplayer meta.

Of course, they also never let you replay the Jaina intro, which is the most immersive single player experience in Hearthstone...

Suzaku 02-19-2016 10:02 PM

Pretty sure they just don't want to have to field thousands of tickets from players buying the wrong shit. Even if it were covered in warnings. Most Hearthstone players are that stupid; there's nothing to stop some dumb F2P noob from thinking Wild format is the place he belongs and buying Naxx or GvG packs, only to regret it a week or two later and either quit or ask for his money back.

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