Hearthstone: the Lich King's Advance, let's discover a preview of the new expansion

Hearthstone: the Lich King's Advance, let's discover a preview of the new expansion


Blizzard is introducing the eleventh class, the Death Knight, as part of Hearthstone's latest expansion: The Lich King's Advance. Starting from December 6, in fact, fans will be able to experience the journey that led Arthas Menethil to become the iconic villain of World of Warcraft, the Lich King, thanks to the prologue that introduces the mechanics of the Death Knight.

With 203 new cards, the Death Knight class (complete with a rune system), the new Undead Servant and the new Mana Thirst ability, there will be many new decks to build in the card game digital branded Blizzard. The developers have focused heavily on the nostalgia factor of all World of Warcraft fans, especially from an artistic point of view: there is no shortage of references and quotes to what was one of the moments of greatest splendor of the MMO par excellence.

To make this preview of Hearthstone: The Lich King's Advance we spoke with Matthew London Lead Mode & Narrative Designer and Chadd Nervig Lead Game Designer of Hearthstone who explained the new mechanics and the creative process that led to the creation of the new class. The first thing they wanted to say was "we have learned of our mistakes with the Demon Hunter, fear not, the Death Knight will not be broken at launch".

The Death Knight

Arthas will again be the protagonist of the Hearthstone events in the `` Advance of the Lich King The Death Knight will have 68 new class cards, of which 32 will be part of of the Main set and will be free. His he hero power is Ghoul Charge with which he can summon a 1/1 Ghoul with Charge that dies at the end of the turn. Thanks to the new resource of corpses, then, all your servants will be useful even when dead to serve a higher purpose: the ruin of your opponents. Just like in World of Warcraft, the Death Knight class manages his powers through a system of runes. There are those of Blood, to control the game by manipulating Health, those of Frost, to inflict direct damage with Spells and those of Impiety, to summon swarms of undead minions on the playing field. Each deck will have three slots, you can choose to bet everything on one type or put, for example, two of the frost and one of the impiety: there are 10 combinations in total, each with its peculiarities.

"In World of Warcraft runes are the main resource for managing a Death Knight's abilities and in Hearthstone we wanted to recreate the same dynamic, or something similar - said Chadd Nervig. During the tests we wanted to experiment with replacing mana with runes, just like in WoW, but something was not working. The impact the system had on deck building was massive in terms of variety but playing, mana suddenly became superfluous. Adding runes on top of it was an unnecessary limitation. final version runes are now only used in deck building, giving mana its usual relevance and leaving the management of runes to the deckbuilding phase. "

New minions and new abilities

Undead minions will be the main weapon of every Death Knight when the Lich King's Advance comes out.The Lich King's Advance will also introduce a new type of minion, the Undead, and a new ability, the Thirst for Mana. Adding a new type of minion was a complex job for the development team and required the reworking of hundreds of other minions from previous sets to include the undead. "Zombies are the primary weapon of every Death Knight - said Nervig - so it is essential that there are many and well identifiable servants of this type". In addition, the Rebirth ability is also about to make its return: "there weren't many cards that had good synergies with this mechanic - said Matthew London - now they will be there, but we don't think they will have a devastating impact on the meta". br>
Inspired by the blood elves' insatiable dependence on the magical energies of the Sunwell, the new Mana Thirst ability will put the planning of each move into a different perspective. Cards with this ability, in fact, will be able to activate additional effects when you have enough Mana Crystals, all without consuming Mana. "We can't wait to see what players will do with the new rune system, the new minion and the Thirst for Mana ability - said Nervig - There are a lot of possible combinations and the Death Knight was designed precisely to be modular ".

How not to launch a new class

The developers want to add complexity to Hearthstone, not unnecessarily complicate the game Mindful of the chaos that the launch of the Demon Hunter has caused, the developers wanted to share the lessons learned since then and how they applied them for the release of the Death Knight. "The first time we added a new class to the game (the Demon Hunter ed) it was a tricky moment because we did it in January, when the cards rotate. The way the meta is structured, the beginning of the year is the most unstable and unrepresentative moment of the game ecosystem because everything changes. Now we will add the Knight of the Night to the opposite moment, the end of the year, when we have a very good understanding of what the meta is like and how the new cards they will influence the game ".

Inserting a system as complex as that of the runes, then, is a choice that has greatly intrigued us; we know that this mechanic will not be translated for the other classes but we are still curious to know how it will be supported. Lead Game Designer Chadd Nervig explained his team's philosophy regarding the launch and future of the class. "Runes is a mechanic that, at first glance, can be complicated but our goal is to add complexity to Hearthstone to improve gameplay. We don't want to complicate the game just for the fun of it. We want to give it depth to expand and enrich it. As far as support for the rune system is concerned, in the future we plan to release new cards dedicated to each of the 3 runes (Blood, Frost, Unholy). What will change over time will be the styles of play, not all expansions. they will have cards for all runes, sometimes the protagonist will be frost, sometimes blood and sometimes impiety or their combinations ".

Novices and veterans

Novices will do better to begin their adventure in the Advance of the Lich King with the runes of Unholy, word of the developers Another big news (already available in the game) is the return to the Standard format of the cards of the Knights of the Throne of Ice expansion that is, dating back to the last time the Blizzard card game had anything to do with Lichs. "We are very happy for the return of Knights of the Frozen Throne - said Matthew London - Will other expansions also return in the future? Maybe, we are working on it and waiting for the reaction of the players. All the old expansion has been added for free and players can relive it. in full. We have many fans and veterans who are very proud of their collection. It is important for us to enhance those collections by bringing old sets back to standard. This will also allow new players to rediscover old cards for the benefit of all our players. "

At the launch of The Advance of the Lich King you can get 32 ​​cards dedicated to the Death Knight simply by completing his new prologue. The set of 26 Arthas Path cards, then, is included in the Mega Pack of this expansion and will be available separately, available for purchase with both gold and Runestones, and all cards included will be craftable.

10 more Death Knight cards will be available in The Advance of the Lich King booster packs. "If you've never played Hearthstone - said London - and want to start after December 6, the first thing to do after the tutorial is to play the Death Knight prologue so try the 3 types of runes and get familiar with the mechanics. Then take all the Unholy cards, put them in a deck, fill your opponent with zombies and enjoy the victory. I am a simple player, I like to fill my opponent with zombies. same type are the most accessible, start like this and then experiment ".

The Death Knight, the new type of undead minion, the new Mana Thirst ability and the return of many cards from the past are a recipe compelling for Hearthstone's new 25.0 patch. Until we have tried it firsthand, however, we will not be able to understand how unbalanced and complex the new class is. There is no shortage of mentions to World of Warcraft but Blizzard must be careful because the nostalgia factor takes very little to bore.


Return of a classic: the Death Knight The system of rune encourages experimentation Return of an old expansion completely free DOUBTS Risk of imbalance at launch A little too much nostalgia Have you noticed any errors?

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