Those following Hearthstone's social media accounts this week may have noticed that members of the community, specifically ones focused on creating content for the game's Battlegrounds mode, have been revealing new cards and mechanics that are set to debut soon. There's now a date for this massive Battlegrounds update, which will also include additions to Mercenaries, and that date is just a few days away.
On Tuesday, January 25, Hearthstone Battlegrounds will debut an all-new mechanic called Battlegrounds Buddies. These are minion sidekicks that are unique to every Battlegrounds hero, each with an effect that plays off of that hero's specific Hero Power. A Buddy Meter will fill up through each combat phase and when that meter is full, the player will receive a copy of the Battleground Buddy. This promises to shake things up in Battlegrounds, encouraging new strategies that factor in hero characters more than ever.
On top of this, look for Brukan, Vandar Stormpike, Tavish Stormpike, and Drek'Thar to join Battlegrounds as new heroes. They'll also have Battlegrounds Buddies accompanying them.
January 25 will also debut a new space to Hearthstone Mercenaries called the Training Grounds. In an effort to help players build up their Mercenaries at a faster pace, the Training Grounds will be a place to deposit Mercs and allow them to passively gain XP. This should alleviate concerns of the brutal Mercenaries grind. In addition to this, Balinda Stonehearth, Captain Galvangar, Lokholar, Wrathion, and Sinestra will join the game mode as new Mercenary cards.
Hearthstone is building to the latest Lunar New Year event, which will include new daily quests, a special themed Tavern Brawl, and a new card back. This event will begin on Wednesday, February 2, one day after the arrival of the Book of Mercenaries: Tavish Stormpike solo adventure. Lunar New Year will continue until February 16.
We'll be watching this next Hearthstone update, as well as the Hearthstone website, to see if there's anything else beyond what's announced for Battlegrounds and Mercenaries. If there's anything else, we'll be sure to discuss it here at Shacknews.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Hearthstone update 22.2 adds Battlegrounds Buddies next week
I don't really think Buddies is going to help Battlegrounds balance. It may boost certain heroes but the underlying balance issues still are there. Avenge Cards are still way too powerful for the tier they are on. And tokens are still the best units in either Tier 1 or Tier 2. And there are still certain tribes that are still not great.