There's been a murder in Hearthstone. Sire Denathrius has been slain in his own manor and all of the suspects are still in the vicinity. This is the premise to Hearthstone's latest expansion, Murder at Castle Nathria, and it's one that's unlike any seen in the long-running digital card game to this point. To learn more about it, we spoke to Game Designer (and Murder at Castle Nathria set lead) Cora Georgiou and Associate Initial Designer Edward Goodwin.
"It's always fun to do new things in Hearthstone," Georgiou told Shacknews. "As far as each of the suspects, I will say that they all are, for the most part, pretty synergistic with their locations. Theme-wise and lore-wise, it made sense for us to have the suspect and their location work together and then each suspect also has a covenant spell in their respective class that is appropriate for the class and covenant of the suspect. For instance, [Baroness] Vashj is a necrolord Shaman, so she has Primordial Wave, which you saw already."
Fans that have looked at the expansion and its theme have drawn similarities between it and the classic board game, Clue. Interestingly, while there are suspects and locations, there don't seem to be any murder weapons. Given that Hearthstone deals with weapons frequently (and we do, in fact, still expect normal weapons for the usual classes), the idea of murder weaponry seems like an odd omission. However, Georgiou has a practical reason for leaving murder weapons out of the mystery equation.
"We thought about doing murder weapons," Georgiou added. "Obviously, you know the classic trope is 'suspect, location, weapon,' but we just did the profession tools in United in Stormwind when we had started making this set. So we didn't necessarily want to go down the route of weapons for every class just yet, so we decided on covenant spells instead."
There was a lot discussed over the course of this interview, including the recurring mechanics of guesswork and deduction, the various suspects, the new Location cards, and much more. Of course, we've seen our share of murder mysteries here at Shacknews. (Okay, maybe not Clue so much, but we're working on that!) That's why we had to ask about Sire Denathrius and whether he's really as dead as everybody seems to think he is.
"It's a murder mystery," Georgiou said suspiciously. "It couldn't be a murder mystery if he was alive! That's ridiculous!"
Hearthstone will get to the bottom of Sire Denathrius' alleged demise when Murder at Castle Nathria releases on August 2. We'll look to compile a list of the new expansion's cards soon, but for now, be sure to check out the Hearthstone website for more. For more interviews like this, be sure to subscribe to Shacknews and GamerHubTV on YouTube.