Blizzcon 2015: Surviving a Collapsing Temple in Hearthstone's 'The League of Explorers'

Hearthstone's next single-player adventure is set to release on Thursday and one of its wings will feature a completely different kind of battle, one against the very environment. To see how this battle went down, Shacknews tried it out at this year's Blizzcon.

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There's a new expansion on its way to Hearthstone, with players able to join The League of Explorers. Blizzard announced the new single-player expansion during yesterday morning's Blizzcon keynote, later revealing that the 45 cards that would be available over the course of the next four weeks.

While The League of Explorers expansion will feature a number of boss battles, as has become the standard for these campaigns, it's also going to take something of a different twist. The first wing, set to release on Thursday, will include a survival mission. On the surface, how something like this would work sounds like a head-scratcher, but things became much clearer once Shacknews went hands-on during Blizzcon.

Using a pre-made Murloc Shaman deck or a Rogue deck filled with many of the newer cards, the object for this demo was to escape the collapsing temple by surviving for ten turns. The temple would throw an obstacle out there every turn, in the form of incresingly-powerful minions. The player would be aided by the cocky human, Reno Jackson, but his methods will cause a random event to occur in-between each turn. These events vary, from a trap slashing some of the player's health, to an 0/7 boulder that eliminatees the minion on its immediate left, to the ceiling collapsing and destroying all minions. Reno will even attempt to take a shortcut, but going with him in this case would see the player bump into a 7/7 War Golem.

The temple is amazingly creative, which is why it's somewhat sad to see that it's just so easy. Granted, Heroic difficulty will probably kick things up quite a notch, but since there is no opposing face to attack, the player can concentrate purely on board removal. The Rogue's minions had such effects that would help keep the board under control, while the Shaman's Murlocs would all work in synergy to keep one another alive. Enemy minions can be kept completely at bay with taunts, with Master Jouster proving the most useful, since he can never lose a duel against an inanimate temple that has zero cards. Players can even exploit the ceiling collapse and wait for it to wipe out the enemy side before going nuts with minion placement.

Still, despite its low degree of difficulty, the temple run shows the potential of what Hearthstone could do beyond its usual 1v1 formula. More of these types of challenges would be a welcome addition and I'm wondering if Blizzard would ever be willing to just craft an impossibly difficult gauntlet to see who could survive it? Put a cardback on the line and maybe we can find out someday. In the meantime, the temple run will have to suffice.

Attempt to survive the temple when The League of Explorers adventure hits Hearthstone this Thursday.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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