Hearthstone kicked off its Tuesday in a big way, reeling off a series of announcements that will affect players of all experience levels in the near future. These announcements relate to a revamped ladder, some new cards, a feature that's now up in the air, and plans for the annual Hallow's End event.
The first thing to note is that Hearthstone is adding a handful of new Classic cards. The Classic set has seen its number reduced slightly, thanks to the annual Hall of Fame rotation. Blizzard had been planning to add to the Classic set since the first Hall of Fame rotation, discussing possibilities as recently as back in February during the initial Year of the Raven announcement. But while former Game Director Ben Brode was looking into adding expansion cards into the Classic set, it now appears that Blizzard has crafted entirely new cards for this purpose.
These cards help replace the class cards that have previously been inducted into the Hall of Fame and will be ready for the game in October. They include:
(1) Call of the Void
Add a random Demon to your hand.
Add a random card to your hand (from your opponent's class).
Deal 2 damage to a minion. If it's Frozen, draw a card.
(1) Tome of Intellect
Add a random Mage spell to your hand.
For those looking to get into Hearthstone for the first time, the new player experience is going to look a little different. Casual Mode will now be closed off to new players, as they'll all start out at the new Rank 50. New players will engage with each other in Ranks 50 through 26, while experienced players will not fall below Rank 25. Players will not lose stars while they're in the new player range.
Experienced players may be disappointed to hear that Hearthstone's planned Tournaments feature does not appear to be panning out. Citing that the experience felt too exclusive to a niche set of players, Blizzard is momentarily axing the planned Tournaments feature until further notice.
Lastly, there are plans in place for this year's Hallow's End event. Players will find the game decked out in special Hallow's End decorations. The Headless Horseman will make his return and star in a special Tavern Brawl. And for Arena players, last year's popular Dual Class Arena will make its return for a limited time.
Lastly, Blizzard is set to put up some new items for purchase. The Welcome Bundle will return with 10 Classic card packs, with those who have previously purchased it able to pick it up again. This bundle will include a guaranteed Legendary dragon, with players getting either Alexstrasza, Deathwing, Malygos, Nozdormu, Onyxia, or Ysera. No word on what players will get if they already have all six of those Legendaries.
And then there's the newest Paladin hero. Sir Annoy-o will join the Hero rotation. Players will be able to pick him up as part of an unspecified deal. Look for more details on how to get Sir Annoy-o soon.