Q: What is HearthstoneTM?
A: Hearthstone is a free-to-play digital strategy card game that anyone can enjoy. Players choose one of nine epic Warcraft® heroes to play as, and then take turns playing cards from their customizable decks to cast potent spells, use heroic weapons or abilities, or summon powerful characters to crush their opponent.
Q: Why is Blizzard making Hearthstone?
A: We looooooove collectible card games and have been playing them since our Silicon & Synapse days. Creating a digital strategy card game felt like a natural next step for us, so we put together a small team and have been hammering away at Hearthstone for a while now. We’re excited to be working on something different from our other games, which we’ve wanted to do for a long time. Same goes for creating a game for iPad® in addition to PC. It’s been a thrill to work on Hearthstone and to finally be able to reveal it to the community, and we hope everyone has as much fun playing it as we’ve had building it.
Q: Do I need to know anything about strategy card games or Warcraft to play?
A: Not at all! We’ve designed Hearthstone so that anyone can get into it, no matter how familiar they are with the Warcraft universe or collectible card games. The game will teach you everything you need to know as you play it.
Q: What are the key game modes and features?
A: Hearthstone’s key game modes and features include:
- Practice mode: Hone your abilities and test out new deck ideas against A.I. opponents of basic or expert skill levels, and unlock new playable heroes in the process.
- Play mode: Duel other players to increase your medal ranking—which indicates your skill level and the level of opponents you’ll face (resets weekly)—and earn new card packs along the way. Whether you’re a grizzled veteran or curious newcomer, or fall somewhere in between, Battle.net® matchmaking will pair you up against a worthy opponent.
- The Forge: Put your skills to the test in this mode where deck-building is half the fun. Assemble a new deck by choosing from a selection of cards provided for the match, and then duel other Forge participants for a chance to win card packs. The cards you select to build your deck with are yours to keep and can be added to other decks in your collection after your Forge duels are complete. Note that you must trade in a certain number of card packs to participate in a Forge match (further details to be announced later).
- Collection Manager: Browse your ever-expanding card collection, disenchant cards for raw materials to craft new ones, and build a variety of custom decks to suit your shifting strategies.
Q: What are the different types of cards in Hearthstone?
A: Once you’ve selected which hero you want to play as, there are three types of cards you can build your deck with in Hearthstone: spells, weapons, and minions. Each card falls into either the “basic” or “expert” card set (see below).
Q: What’s the difference between “basic” and “expert” cards?
Basic cards are the “starter” cards that form the foundation of each hero’s class, and are earned each time you play a game (you can have up to two of every basic card in the game in your collection).
Expert cards are cards that can only be found in card packs or created using the crafting system (certain achievements grant them as well). They’re distinguished by their rarity—common (white), rare (blue), epic (purple), or legendary (orange). Generally, the rarer a card is, the more complex it is . . . often providing you with new strategic options. You can have any number of expert cards in your collection, though only two of any common, rare, or epic card, and one of any legendary card, can be placed in a deck.
Both basic and expert cards have important roles to play in all decks, regardless of whether you’re just starting out or are a Hearthstone grandmaster.
Q: How much does it cost to play?
A: Hearthstone is free to play, and there are a number of different ways to acquire cards through gameplay. In addition, players will have the option to buy additional card packs through an in-game store using Battle.net Balance or other supported payment methods, such as major credit cards. However, there is no requirement to purchase card packs in order to play Hearthstone.
Q: What are all the different ways a player can acquire cards?
A: Players will earn their first set of cards as soon as they start playing Hearthstone, and certain game modes and features will award additional cards through gameplay. In addition, players will have the option to purchase additional card packs through the in-game store using Battle.net Balance or other supported payment methods, such as major credit cards. Here are the different ways to get cards:
- Practice Mode: Play against A.I. opponents representing different classes to unlock new heroes and basic cards.
- Play Mode: By participating in traditional head-to-head matches, players have a chance to win card packs.
- The Forge: Build a deck by selecting one card from each of a series of randomized card choices, and then play against other Forge participants. The cards you pick to build your deck are yours to keep—play well enough, and you could win even more. Note that you must trade in a certain number of card packs to participate in The Forge (further details to be announced later).
- Crafting: Disenchant expert cards in your collection to receive arcane dust, and then use your collected dust to craft other cards of your choosing. Basic cards cannot be disenchanted.
- Card Packs: Purchase card packs containing five random cards using your Battle.net Balance or a variety of supported payment methods. One of the cards will always be of “rare” rarity or greater; in some cases, you may find that one or more additional cards has also “upgraded” to a higher tier of rarity.
- Achievements: Certain achievements in the game may grant additional cards.
Q: How many cards are available in the game?
A: There are over 300 cards in Hearthstone. All of these can be earned, with some cards granted for dueling the A.I. or completing achievements and others found inside card packs that can be earned by playing in Play mode and The Forge. We plan to introduce additional cards over time.
Q: Can I trade cards to other players or sell cards for real cash?
A: No, Hearthstone is not designed to support these types of transactions.
Q: Can players choose to battle against their friends in addition to taking part in match-made duels?
A: Of course! You will be able to play against your friends via your Battle.net friends list.
THE LAUNCH DETAILS (SO FAR)
Q: When will Hearthstone be released?
A: We’re not sure yet—what we do know is that we’re going to take as much time as necessary to make sure Hearthstone is as fun and polished as possible.
Q: How do I get Hearthstone?
A: Once the game is live, you’ll be able to download it free directly from Blizzard. We’ll provide further details, including how to purchase card packs, as we get closer to launch.
Q: What ages are appropriate?
A: Hearthstone has not yet received its final rating.
Q: On which platforms will Hearthstone be available?
A: Hearthstone will initially be available for Windows® and Macintosh®, with a version for iPad coming later.
Q: Where will Hearthstone be available?
A: Our goal is to make Hearthstone available in the same regions supported by World of Warcraft, but we don’t have details to share just yet.
Q: When will the iPad version be available?
A: Hearthstone will be available in the App Store as soon as possible after its release on Windows and Macintosh PCs.
Q: Will Hearthstone be localized? Which languages?
A: We’re planning to localize Hearthstone in the same languages as World of Warcraft wherever possible. We’ll post the final language list as soon as we can.
Q: I play World of Warcraft, too! Can I earn anything for my WoW characters by playing Hearthstone?
A: We’re looking into a few possibilities and hope to have more details to share in the future.
Q: How do Hearthstone and World of Warcraft relate to each other?
A: Both games take place in the Warcraft universe, and World of Warcraft players will recognize a lot of aspects of Azeroth in Hearthstone. That said, you don’t need to even know what World of Warcraft is to have loads of fun in Hearthstone.
THE GAME MECHANICS
Q: What makes Hearthstone different from other card games?
A: We’ve designed Hearthstone to be easy to learn so that anyone can get into it—but it’s also deep enough that even the most elite duelists will find it a challenge to master. Hearthstone is designed around short, action-packed duels that generally take 10–15 minutes to play.
Q: How many players can play in a multiplayer game?
A: More than one, but fewer than three.
Q: Which heroes are featured in Hearthstone?
A: You’ll be able to build a deck based on one of nine epic Warcraft heroes, each representing one of the original World of Warcraft classes: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, and Warrior.
Q: Wait, what about Monk? Where’s Death Knight?!
A: The roster of heroes represents the nine classes that were available at World of Warcraft’s launch. It’s still too early to discuss our plans for heroes aside from these, though the game will continue to evolve over time. So practice patience, young monk! And death knight, you’re immortal, so you can chill for now too, right?
Q: Will additional content be available in the future?
A: We plan to add more content and additional cards as the game evolves, but we don’t have any details to share just yet. Right now, our focus is making sure the game is as fun and polished as possible right out of the gate.
Q: How does Practice mode work?
A: In the game’s Practice mode, you choose to play against a computer-controlled hero of any class at one of two different difficulty levels. Challenging that hero will unlock it for play and expand the types of cards you’re able to add to your collection. Players will earn a fledgling Mage deck just by launching the game, but that’s only the beginning of the journey. . . .
Q: Can I create new decks or modify my current deck?
A: Absolutely! Customizing the perfect deck to suit your play style or to counter a rival is a huge part of Hearthstone. As your card collection grows, the in-game Collection Manager will help you create, save, and edit multiple decks for whatever situation or play style you can think of.
Q: What if I’m new at deck-building and need some help?
A: We want anyone to be able to get into Hearthstone and build a deck without having to understand all the nuances of deck building. To that end, we’re developing a feature that will examine your deck and card collection and provide suggestions for what you should add. You’ll be provided with brief reasoning behind these recommendations so that you can learn a little more about how to build a great deck.
Q: What comes in a card pack?
A: Each pack comes with five random cards. Your chance to receive a particular card depends on its rarity: common (white), rare (blue), epic (purple), or legendary (orange). You’re guaranteed to receive at least one rare or better card per pack. Each card in the pack also has a chance to upgrade to a “Golden” version of the same card.
Q: What is a Golden card?
A: All cards found in a card pack have a chance to be upgraded to a Golden card when the pack is opened. This upgrade will affect the appearance of the card but not its power.
Q: Does Hearthstone support asynchronous play?
A: Hearthstone is designed to be a fast-paced experience. That being said, we recognize that players may want to play the game in short bursts with their friends over a longer period of time, so we’re looking into the possibility of supporting asynchronous play.
Q: How does The Forge work?
A: You’ll be able to enter The Forge by trading in unopened card packs (further details to be announced later). These packs can be earned free in Play mode (or won in previous Forge games that you might have played), or you can purchase them from the in-game store. Once you are in, you will build a special Forge deck, choosing one card at a time from a series of card options until you have a full deck of 30. You’ll then duel with that deck against other Forge participants until you win or lose a specific number of matches. At the end, you keep all the expert cards that were in your deck—and depending on how well you performed you could win additional card packs.
Q: How do I disenchant and craft cards?
A: Expert cards can be “disenchanted”—giving the player a resource called arcane dust but destroying the card in the process. Once a player collects enough dust, they can use it to create any card in the game, including Golden cards, permanently adding that card to the player’s collection. The amount of dust received and/or the cost of the card created depends on the card’s rarity (common, rare, epic, or legendary).
Only expert cards—that is, cards that come in card packs or are earned through playing in The Forge—can be disenchanted. Basic cards (i.e., cards with no rarity indicator) cannot be disenchanted.
THE TECHNICAL STUFF
Q: How do I pay for cards?
A: On Windows and Macintosh PCs, players will be able to purchase card packs within the game using their Battle.net Balance or any other Battle.net-supported payment method attached to their account. On the iPad, players will be able to make purchases using the payment methods they’ve associated with their AppleID in the App Store. The exact process will differ slightly for each region. We’ll provide further details as we get closer to launch.
Q: What are the system requirements for Hearthstone?
A: We’ll announce specific system requirements closer to launch.
Q: Will I be able to add friends in Hearthstone and chat with people?
A: Yes! The folks in your Battle.net friends list (both BattleTag and Real ID friends) are available for games or conversation. Players will not be able to chat with anyone who is not on their friends list. However, players will be able to choose from a variety of emotes for basic communication during games.
Q: How can I communicate with opponents during a game who are not on my friends list?
A: We have an emote system that lets you communicate in a safe way with random folks you are playing with online. You can thank or congratulate or threaten your opponent with the voice of the hero you are playing.
Q: Are you supporting Android tablets?
A: Hearthstone will launch on Windows, Macintosh, and, later on, iPad. We’re looking into the possibility of supporting additional platforms in the future, but we don’t have any further info to share at this time.
Q: Will Hearthstone run on my iPhone?
A: Hearthstone is for Windows and Macintosh PCs and iPad only.
Q: Do you need a Battle.net account to play Hearthstone?
A: We're still working out the details for iPad, but you will need a Battle.net account to play Hearthstone on PC. If you don’t already have a Battle.net account, you can create one at http://www.battle.net
Q: Do you need a World of Warcraft account to play Hearthstone?
A: Nay, ye do not!
Q: Will there be parental controls for Hearthstone?
A: Yes. Parents will be able to use Battle.net's Parental Controls system to restrict their child’s ability to purchase additional card packs within Hearthstone.
THE BETA TEST
Q: How will I get cards in the beta test? Do I need to purchase them with real money?
A: We do plan to test the in-game store during the beta test, and players will be able to purchase card packs using their Battle.net Balance or other Battle.net-supported payment methods. Players will also be able to obtain cards through Practice mode, Play mode, and The Forge.
The card pack price in the beta test does not necessarily reflect what the final prices will be at launch.
Q: Will the cards I earn or purchase in the beta test carry over into the live game? What happens if I purchased beta card packs for real money?
A: Prior to launch your card collection will be reset, and any cards you acquired through a purchased card pack or earned during the beta test will be removed. However, any purchases you made during the beta test will be credited back to you in the form of new, unopened card packs at launch, equal to the value you spent during the beta test. Please note that these will not contain the same cards as those received from card packs in the beta test. Also, as a thank you for testing out the in-game store during Hearthstone’s beta phase, everyone who purchased a card pack in the beta test will get a special gift.
Q: Will my progress in the beta test—unlocking heroes, earning cards, my ranking—carry over to the final game?
A: No way! In the interest of fairness, everything will be reset after the beta test ends so that players can be on equal footing when the game launches.
Q: How do I apply for the beta test?
A: Just visit www.playhearthstone.com
to opt-in with your Battle.net account!
Q: I don’t live in the US; can I still participate in the beta test?
A: We hope to launch a beta test in other game regions after the initial beta-test launch in North America, but we don’t have any specifics to announce at this time. Stay tuned for updates.