The new Hearthstone expansion, Rise Of Shadows, is set to shake up the game, and Blizzard is hoping it will appeal to a wider range of players. The latest expansion is just one in a series of changes designed to breathe new life into the game, and change the status quo.
Every year Hearthstone enters a new phase of play, with older decks being removed from the standard game. This year, the Year of the Dragon, also brought some new changes, in the form of a “Hall of Fame.”
The Hall of Fame takes cards which are still in Standard play, and moves them out of play, before they are due to be moved.
This new feature has already removed Druid’s Naturalize, Paladin’s Divine Favor and Warlock’s Doomguard from play. All three cards were basic or classic cards, which have been a major factor in the game for a long time. The Hall of Fame has also claimed two new cards, which came with the Witchwood expansion, Genn Greymane and Baku the Mooneater. These are said to be moving due to their incredible power, which Blizzard felt may overshadow upcoming content.
The year of the dragon has also brought some changes to single-player content, which will release as paid content with card packs included. Arena mode will also see some changes, as the cards usable in the format will change during each expansion, keeping it more interesting.
These changes have been made in response to players complaints about certain cards drastically boosting win rates. In an interview with Kotaku Blizzard discussed the changes in more depth.
They talk about how the goal this season is to make play more balanced, and enable players to find a deck they really love to play. While some decks will always be stronger than others, they are trying to remove those cards which unnaturally boost win rates. By swapping over powered cards out of standard play, and learning lessons from how some of them played out, Blizzard hope to keep the game more fun for everyone.
Hearthstone Rise of Shadows is now available for free on Android, iOS, PC and Mac.